This particular story has a bit of an unusual beginning. The location is the Kinabatangan River, Sabah, Malaysia, I was in this region with another photographer, Christian Loader from Scubazoo who I’m currently doing some work with. I have to thank Christian for some of the photos of me here. One morning, we headed up river briefly as our guide Osmon wanted to show us something he had spotted the previous night. We slowed underneath some low lying branches. Before I knew what had happened we had come across a relatively young python and… it fell in the boat! At which point I almost jumped out, much to the amusement of the other two who have handled snakes extensively before. The snake then decided to snuggle up to my Millican Dave camera bag! They calmly caught it and we relocated it inside the forest on a nice tree branch, in return it kindly sat still allowing us to take some pictures.
The close focusing capabilities of this lens really impressed me and allowed me to get some really close wide-angle shots, allowing me to fill the frame with the python and to also capture the environment.
I used the X-T1 with the XF16mm F1.4 attached as well as a Nissin i40 flash I used a rogue flash bender. But because this would involve getting very close to the snake I decided to put the camera on a monopod and used a wireless trigger set up to keep me working at a safe distance. To stress, the snake was absolutely fine and did not once try and strike the set up. The angled screen on the X-T1 was very helpful here as it meant that I could see exactly what was in the frame, regardless of slight angle changes to composition.
Because I was using the i40 flash in TTL mode, I couldn’t shoot above 1/180sec so I had to stop down to F8 for much of the photos. The location was very dark and flat as the vast majority of the tropical sunlight is absorbed by the canopy above. Thankfully the XF16mm seems to have very quick and accurate autofocus, even in these less than ideal conditions.
In an up and coming blog I’ll show the benefit of the F1.4 aperture when photographing Pygmy Elephants.
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Lol!! Fourth picture goes like this…
Serpent : You will give the apple to your girlfriend
Cherry : Yeeess….I will give the apple to my girlfriend
Nice set of photos of the serpent, you’ve captured the essence of it all. The serpent was at home in his environment and you’ve made a portrait of it fortunately, this creature was just a junior which allowed this work. Try the Florida everglades and capture some closeups of some of those “big boys” to post here just make sure your insurance policy is up to date so your next of kin don’t have any problems. Otherwise, congratulations on your fine work!
Reblogged this on Ben Cherry Photography Blog and commented:
A blog for Fujifilm UK on how I photographed this python.
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