Monday, May 17, 2010
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH A SNAPPING TURTLE
About a 1/2 hour ago I was driving home and saw this snapping turtle on the road near my home. I ran and got my camera and when I jogged back to the spot where I had seen it, the reptile had disappeared. I finally found it in the grass next to the road, and getting down at ground level I put on an extension tube on my 24-105mm lens and set the camera to aperture priority. I definitely did not want the eyes to be sharp but the nose soft, so I raised the ISO to 500 and set the f/stop to f/16. That gave me a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second. This is not as fast as I'd like, but since the turtle wasn't moving and I was bracing my elbows on the ground, I thought I could still get a tack sharp picture.
I wanted to show the turtle with its mouth open, so I used my baseball cap to tap it's head enough until it opened that intimidating mouth. These things can do serious damage to fingers. My working distance was quite close -- about seven or eight inches. I could have used a longer lens with extension tubes, but I would have lost too much depth of field.