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Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 14th, 2016, 5:37 am
by Antonsrkn
Hi all,

2015 was a good year for me, I started the year off working in Ecuador and afterwards started graduate school, I got a chance to take some fun images along the way. I have always liked these threads that get a wide amount of members posting their photos, so thought I'd make this one.

Lets see your best herp shot from 2015, in the interest of really making you think about it and pick the best, lets try to limit this to only ONE shot. Post a SINGLE shot that you feel was your best, whether because of the subject matter or execution. If you can't decide just flip a coin.

Surprisingly my favorite shot isn't of a rare target species, but rather a photo of a common species where I really thought out the image I wanted to get and planned it until I was able to capture the scene like I planned to. Extra surprising that this was my favorite shot as it was taken at a time when my camera gear was failing me and I was having a variety of problems and difficulty overcoming them.
ImageAnole in Cloud Forest Habitat by Anton, on Flickr

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 14th, 2016, 6:23 am
by noah k.
Mine is also a common species, Eastern Coachwhip.

Image

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 14th, 2016, 8:18 am
by Muchobirdnerd
Anton great idea. This shot of Nymphargus cariticommatus is from when I bumped into you in southern Ecuador.

Also Anolis aequatorialis is an amazing sp. great shot.


ImageNymphargus cariticommatus by MUCHMORE DESIGN LLC., on Flickr

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 14th, 2016, 8:52 am
by AndyKraemer
Great idea Anton! Here's my favorite shot, an endemic gecko from Isabela Island, Galápagos

ImagePhyllodactylus cf. galapagoensis by Andy Kraemer, on Flickr

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 14th, 2016, 10:46 am
by Zach_Lim
Santa Cruz Black Salamander (Aneides flavipunctatus niger)

Image

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 14th, 2016, 3:01 pm
by semasko
Pile of 30 Timber Rattlesnakes from Pennsylvania
Image

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 14th, 2016, 3:43 pm
by Rman

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 14th, 2016, 3:48 pm
by Soopaman
Hard to decide, but I put a lot of effort into this:

ImageCrotalus horridus (Canebrake Rattlesnake) by Kyle, on Flickr

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 14th, 2016, 4:08 pm
by intermedius
ImageNorthern Pinesnake by Justin (NoNameKey), on Flickr



- Justin

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 14th, 2016, 10:31 pm
by Rancorrye
I don't know if it's my best photo, but it sure is my personal favorite.

Image
Utah Mountain Kingsnake-Lampropeltis pyromelana infralabialis by Rye Jones, on Flickr

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 14th, 2016, 11:50 pm
by Josh Young
Maybe not my best, but it's my favorite from last year.

ImageMole kingsnake from Apalachicola National Forest. by Josh Young, on Flickr

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 15th, 2016, 9:48 am
by Berkeley Boone
Nice photos, everyone. Here is my contribution...
(As others have said, not my best photo from 2015, but my favorite. I have not touched or edited this photo at all- it came out perfectly for me!)

Barking Treefrog, Hyla gratiosa
Image61hyl gra by B Boone, on Flickr

--Berkeley

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 15th, 2016, 11:08 am
by bgorum
Image

I'm going to put up this one. I have other photos I took last year that were more popular with other people, but that's o.k. The reasons I chose this one are that this is a picture that was a number of years in the making. By that I mean that I had originally thought about a picture like this, with a different diamond-back, but very close to the same location. I found that individual at the wrong time of day to do the shot and I always regretted not going back to it at sunset to take the picture I really wanted. I love getting second chances! The picture is also in situ, which all my favorite pictures are. It also combines natural and man made elements. That's something I've started to do more recently. When I first started out taking pictures I always wanted to eliminate human elements in my nature pictures, but more and more I've come to realize that always doing that is dishonest.

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 15th, 2016, 7:28 pm
by NACairns
Wow, everybody these are stunning shots, love the different styles (framing, DOF, exposures). My attempt was from an amazing night in southern California were Jim (hellihooks) and Tyler took me on an night hike through a boulder field along the Mojave River seeing a number of cool species and getting to see an epic landscape at night. The shot its self was an afterthought, I had finished some low angle shots of this snake (the 3rd or 4th sidewinder in 20 minutes) and Tyler took a dorsal shot with his cell phone, so monkey see monkey do, I copied him. I've posted it before but this is my addition to this thread.
Best,
Nick
ImageCrotalus cerastes by N Cairns, on Flickr

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 16th, 2016, 8:23 am
by lanceolatus
Well, mine is not particularly spectacular when it comes to quality, but that's my favourite because I had to go to walk for several hours in a deep forest at night to take it.

It's a fight between two Sachatamia albomaculata males.

Image

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 16th, 2016, 12:50 pm
by Naja Bungarus
Nice photo's all :beer: Trimeresurus albolabris, streching it's jaws in the area of Palau waterfall, Thailand, a rainy night in August

Image

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 16th, 2016, 4:21 pm
by Chad M. Lane
I didn't get to take many photos last year, but here is my favorite although an ok shot.


Imagelateralis by Chad Lane, on Flickr

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 17th, 2016, 7:44 am
by chrish
Some wonderfuls shots so far. Looking at all these shots got me thinking about where we've come in field herp photography over the last 20 years.

It used to be these herp in habitat shots were "all the rage" and everyone was trying to emulate them. It used to be tough back in the film/slide days because you really had to plan carefully (or take a LOT of shots). Now with digital photography they are getting pretty easy to shoot. But occasionally I see one that makes me stop and say "wow, that's creative!"

bgorum's shot with the city lights at dusk behind it is really special. I don't think I have ever seen that before.

The lighting on Anton's anole shot is beautifully done. That's a wall hanger, for sure.

But so far, Kyle's horridus shot continues to blow me away. Very creative, very well executed. I admire the patience it must have taken to get that shot set up and exectuted (in the dark, with a venomous snake!). Was that front or rear curtain synced or did you use some other light source?

Well done all.

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 17th, 2016, 11:17 am
by mfb
Wonderful! Its great to see the many different species and photo styles from all the contributors.

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 17th, 2016, 6:41 pm
by HerpMan ATL
I had quite a few lifers this year but this tiny, little, Smooth Earth Snake was my favorite photo. It's my first reptile photo Ive printed, framed and hung on the wall.
ImageSnake Art by cre8foru2009, on Flickr

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 17th, 2016, 9:09 pm
by kaptainkory

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 17th, 2016, 9:24 pm
by simus343
This underwater cottonmouth. It changed what I had previously thought about them, and had some nice clarity and color on this young individual. I had always read, been told, and only ever seen cottonmouths seek shelter on land or swim away in water to defend. This little critter just slipped underwater in a very shallow spot and sat there until I left.

Agkistrodon piscivorous spp.
Image

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 18th, 2016, 10:15 am
by DracoRJC
ImageGreen anole, Anolis carolinensis by Ryan Collister, on Flickr

This in-situ shot from Sabal Palm Sanctuary in south Texas last spring is probably my favorite shot of the year for me.

Ryan

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 18th, 2016, 10:26 am
by Soopaman
Nice shots everyone. Bill I really like that shot of the atrox with the city in the background. Bravo!

chrish wrote:Some wonderfuls shots so far. Looking at all these shots got me thinking about where we've come in field herp photography over the last 20 years.

It used to be these herp in habitat shots were "all the rage" and everyone was trying to emulate them. It used to be tough back in the film/slide days because you really had to plan carefully (or take a LOT of shots). Now with digital photography they are getting pretty easy to shoot. But occasionally I see one that makes me stop and say "wow, that's creative!"

bgorum's shot with the city lights at dusk behind it is really special. I don't think I have ever seen that before.

The lighting on Anton's anole shot is beautifully done. That's a wall hanger, for sure.

But so far, Kyle's horridus shot continues to blow me away. Very creative, very well executed. I admire the patience it must have taken to get that shot set up and exectuted (in the dark, with a venomous snake!). Was that front or rear curtain synced or did you use some other light source?

Well done all.
Chris, this took some planning in advance, as well as luck of finding the snake on the right night to do it. I had in mind where and how I wanted to do the shot, and on a crystal clear, mostly moonless night I happened to come across a horridus to do it with. I went to the area and took several practice shots to get the position of the foreground and the background stars right, and figure out what settings I needed.
After doing so, I placed the snake in the deadfall jumble near the tree, and with the camera on a tripod, I remotely took a flash photo of that scene. The foreground was lit, and the background totally black. Leaving the camera in place, I moved the snake, and changed the settings on the camera to what I had found necessary to capture the stars. After several tries, I had a pair of photos I was satisfied with, and then at home I merged the two photos, one exposed for the snake in the foreground, the other exposed to capture the night sky. A better photographer could have gotten this all in one shot I'm sure, but this was the easiest way for me to do it, and I think it came out fairly well.

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 18th, 2016, 3:41 pm
by bgorum
Soopaman wrote: Chris, this took some planning in advance, as well as luck of finding the snake on the right night to do it. I had in mind where and how I wanted to do the shot, and on a crystal clear, mostly moonless night I happened to come across a horridus to do it with. I went to the area and took several practice shots to get the position of the foreground and the background stars right, and figure out what settings I needed.
After doing so, I placed the snake in the deadfall jumble near the tree, and with the camera on a tripod, I remotely took a flash photo of that scene. The foreground was lit, and the background totally black. Leaving the camera in place, I moved the snake, and changed the settings on the camera to what I had found necessary to capture the stars. After several tries, I had a pair of photos I was satisfied with, and then at home I merged the two photos, one exposed for the snake in the foreground, the other exposed to capture the night sky. A better photographer could have gotten this all in one shot I'm sure, but this was the easiest way for me to do it, and I think it came out fairly well.
I've done a little of this as well and I don't think its possible to do in a single exposure. The problem is that the Milky Way requires an exposure of about 30 seconds @ f2.8, using an ISO of 1600 or so. For the herp you will almost certainly want a smaller aperture than that which would require an even higher ISO and the concomitant increase in noise. (If you use any shutter speed longer than 30 seconds with a lens of 10mm on dx or 14mm on fx you will get star trails instead of nice points of light. Longer lenses require even shorter shutter speeds to prevent star trails). You also need to refocus between shots because the stars will be out of focus light blobs when the focus is set on the herp. Incidentally, I like your shot a lot better than any of the ones I took this summer. I want to work with this some more next summer during some night hikes.

Here's one of my attempts with a Spadefoot.
Image

and here's an example of what happens when you forget to refocus for the sky exposure
Image

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 19th, 2016, 12:48 am
by speedy
This is probably my favourite shot for 2015, it was very hard to pick though and there are easy 20 to 30 others that I would be proud to post.

A Giant Frog (Cyclorana australis) from North-west Queensland, Australia. These frogs are burrowers and only come out with decent amounts of rain. This was the second storm for the day. A lot of planning and practice went into taking this shot. I ended up with only a couple of minutes to try it on this occasion before getting hit by the storm.

ImageGiant frog in ts element by Ryan Francis, on Flickr

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 19th, 2016, 9:11 am
by the_cw1
I love the shots! The anole starting all this is amazing. I can't wait to be in Costa Rica this time next month. :)

Banded Tree Monitor - V. Scalaris
ImageIMG_3758 by Derek Halm, on Flickr

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 19th, 2016, 6:23 pm
by bgorum
speedy wrote:This is probably my favourite shot for 2015, it was very hard to pick though and there are easy 20 to 30 others that I would be proud to post.

A Giant Frog (Cyclorana australis) from North-west Queensland, Australia. These frogs are burrowers and only come out with decent amounts of rain. This was the second storm for the day. A lot of planning and practice went into taking this shot. I ended up with only a couple of minutes to try it on this occasion before getting hit by the storm.

ImageGiant frog in ts element by Ryan Francis, on Flickr
That's pretty freakin' sweet!

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 20th, 2016, 7:03 pm
by Mike Pingleton
I liked how this one turned out. Isla Santa Catalina in the Gulf of California, Baja Sur, Mexico. This Crotalus catalinensis was several feet off the ground and slowly making its way through a bush. We spent the night on the island and had the chance to observe a number of these snakes foraging in the dark.

-Mike

ImageP1140154 by Mike Pingleton, on Flickr

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 20th, 2016, 7:47 pm
by Daniel D Dye
Awesome photos!

Most of mine for 2015 were inverts, but I managed to find a few herps as well.

ImageSouthern Hognose Snake (Heterodon simus) by Daniel D Dye II, on Flickr

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 20th, 2016, 8:22 pm
by Nshepard
Toss up between these two:

1 - Eastern Coachwhip - Really like the prespective of this shot, not something I usually go for but I really like it.
Image

-OR-

2 - Arizona Ridge-nose Rattlesnake - More along the lines of my usual style, but I love the pose. Not perfect, blades of grass etc, but I like that adds a more real feeling to it.
Image

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 20th, 2016, 9:52 pm
by Crazins
In situ and my favorite.

ImageRe-edited C. c. lateroropens by Marisa Ishimatsu, on Flickr

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 21st, 2016, 12:32 am
by kkchome

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 21st, 2016, 5:07 am
by krismunk
Great selection that I can not even aspire to match.

I am certainly not a photographer. I do not plan my photos, I do not combine multiple shots into one image (usually don't do any editing at all, except occasional cropping and - on rare occasions when I'm particularly displeased with the colours of an image I am particularly pleased with in other respects - tweaking of colours and light), do not bring along any sort of studio or props, do not have fancy gear, wouldn't know how to use it if I did...

Generally speaking, I just take my point & shoot and do exactly that, mostly in situ and with the camera on default settings. Once in a blue moon I will try to make it out when conditions (light, perhaps snow or fall leaves) seem ideal for an attractive shot and sometimes I try to pose my subjects or play around with other camera settings. By and large, though, everything beyond framing the subject nicely and positioning myself correctly in respect to natural light sources is beyond my level of skill, (sometimes even that is), and the fancier I try to get, the more miserably I fail.

That said, of course my selection is a simple picture. Nothing is easier than photographing a viper sitting still atop a sand dune. I have done this shot with variations lots of times and results are always among my favourites, simply because it is difficult to do anything significant (relative to my level of skill and ambition) wrong.

Of course it's a boring image and even I can point out flaws, nonetheless...

Image

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 21st, 2016, 7:02 am
by Asnyder
Oh man this one is tough! Lots of great images in this thread already. Here's a cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) from Mississippi.

Image[/url]Agape by Andrew Snyder, on Flickr[/url]

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 21st, 2016, 8:46 am
by justinm
This was arguably my best find and my best shot. A gravid female Eastern Indigo, 6' plus and gravid.

ImageDrymarchon corais couperi by Justin Michels, on Flickr

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 21st, 2016, 1:53 pm
by Tom
Ummm.... can we get a full story on this one!
kkchome wrote: Image

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 21st, 2016, 5:32 pm
by Jeroen Speybroeck
What a great, great, GREAT thread! We should have this every year!


I love how there's a mix of in situ candy, superb 'staged' shots and stuff that's maybe not top-notch but has a personal story to go with it.

That sidewinder in its lair... With the tracks...... So much good stuff here, but that's really so cool. I still don't get how US herpers tend to forget what an amazing species that is; not the prettiest or most fierce rattler, but surely the cutest, no?
Tom wrote:Ummm.... can we get a full story on this one!
kkchome wrote: Image
Yesss, please!!!



So, can I play too? Instead of going for a Rhacophorus, Trimeresurus, blue coral, ... from Malaysia, I thought I'd go for something local (i.e. Belgium, Europe, in my case).

Every year, male moor frogs Rana arvalis go from brown frog (fairly similar to the US wood frog) to crazy smurf. Hardly lasts more than two days; timing is everything. On top of that, they tend to be pretty shy, diving into the deep with every sudden movement. It all happens in March, which is early season here, and calling males and general anxiety in frogs and herpers alike often tends to go with passing clouds blocking the feeble rays of sunlight. The price is worth it, though. Not in 2015, but when many males start to call (a soft 'woop-woop-woop'), you can get cool shots of a whole chorus of blue dots in an otherwise still rather colourless bog, given the time of year. The pic shows that the missus does not get to become as pretty is Mr Blue.

Image

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 21st, 2016, 8:54 pm
by Nick Scobel
Lots of great entries in this thread, really enjoyed them. It was tough to choose just one, but I settled with this one.

ImageEastern Diamondback Rattlesnake by Nick Scobel, on Flickr

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 21st, 2016, 9:33 pm
by Agkistrodon38
Loving the photos guys! Here's my best picture of a ribbon snake from snake road in October
Image

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 22nd, 2016, 11:43 am
by shanicy
Happy brown vine snake from Costa Rica...

ImageBrown Vine Snake - Oxybelis aeneus by Shani Cohen, on Flickr

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 22nd, 2016, 1:30 pm
by Aneides Aeneus
Wow, all of these photos are incredible! Mine can't compare to any of these but here it is anyway - a pygmy salamander from the spruce-fir forests of the Great Smoky Mountains:
ImageSouthern pygmy salamander by aneidesaeneus, on Flickr

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 23rd, 2016, 4:51 am
by dwakefield
Amazing photos in this thread!

This is my favorite photo from 2015. Taken in December at Big Cypress National Preserve.

Image

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 23rd, 2016, 7:03 am
by Will Wells
I really like all the photos posted here. Keep up the awesome work and I'm really excited about 2016!

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 24th, 2016, 2:35 pm
by simus343
I showed this thread to my friend and co-worker Bob Walker the other day and he said that I should, and gave me permission to, show his #1 photo from 2015 for field herping - as he doesn't feel like he has the time to deal with computer gimmicks such as forums and what not. Honestly, as far as field herping photography in Florida goes, his shot has to be the best I've personally ever seen. He saw the pine snake halfway down a pocket gopher hole. It went in and when Bob looked in, this is what he saw:

Photo By: Bob Walker
Image

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 24th, 2016, 2:35 pm
by simus343
Double post: Ignore.

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 26th, 2016, 5:26 am
by orionmystery
Great thread!

Anton- tough one! LOL...near impossible to pick one out of so many. I couldn't decide between this one and the Theloderma leprosum.

ImageChrysopelea paradisi copy by Kurt (Orionmystery) G, on Flickr

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 26th, 2016, 7:57 am
by frogfish
Mine is probably this B.c.i. from Honduras

ImageBoa Constrictor by Santosh Shanmuga, on Flickr

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 26th, 2016, 5:53 pm
by kyle loucks
One of personal favorites from 2015
Eastern Hognose - Heterodon platyrhinos

Imageh12 by krloucks, on Flickr

Re: Post your 1 best photo from 2015!

Posted: January 27th, 2016, 7:36 pm
by Saunders