Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sneaky Sneaky

One of the more amusing aspects of nature photography is the quest to locate your subject. Buildings and mountains don't move, you can ask people to pose for you, but if it's animal photography you're after, you must lurk and hunt and wait until the moment arises.
Many animals specialize in avoidance - venom, claws, or camouflage. For the latter group, finding them is, of course, no easy task. At the same time, leaning in for a shot of a flower only to discover a cleverly concealed crab spider can be a delightful (or perhaps alarming) surprise.
Indeed, we strive in many instances to highlight wildlife in photographs. However, for some species, demonstrating their concealment is more appropriate.
Lighting is key in the composition of this photograph. The light reflecting off of the leaf this anole is perched upon allows him to stand out against the green background. This photograph both demonstrates the efficacy of his camouflage and permits the viewer a detailed look at his lizardy form.
When I first came upon this caterpillar, whose texture and color matched the concrete he was walking across almost exactly, I was actually confused. What the heck was that thing booking it across the cement?
Oh, right, a bug.
You know how I love bugs.
At any rate, I am torn between loving and hating this photograph. On the one hand, I find it visually interesting, particularly because photographs essentially never show a caterpillar in motion. On the other hand, it is confusing to look at. The blurred elements of the photograph are almost more prominent than the sharp ones, obscuring, rather than highlighting, the subject. The sharp part of the image, the caterpillar's head, blends in with his background so seamlessly that it is difficult to distinguish them visually. So I'm still on the fence about this one.
What do you think?

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