When I decided to spend two winter months in a house Florida instead of my Manhattan apartment, I was excited by the prospect of photographing the many different birds that are indigenous to the western coast of the state. I planned to find a bird-watching group, use my 300 mm lens and have a field day (no pun intended!)
So, imagine my surprise today, while playing 18 holes of golf on a lovely local course, to come upon this sleeping alligator!
He was literally 15 yards from the tee box on the 8th hole. With nothing but my IPhone camera, I did the best I could. But I wasn’t about to risk getting any closer. They actually have warnings all over this area about not letting your dog drink from the canals or streams because they could be taken by an alligator.
As a professional animal photographer, I’m not thrilled with this photo – so I thought I’d share two others that I shot at the San Diego Zoo a few months ago.
I used my Nikon 24-70 lens at 70 mm to photograph this big guy and I don’t know about you, but I think he’s posing and thinking, “CHEESE.”
When photographing dogs, I always focus on their eyes to make sure their warmth and “humanness” shines through in the final image. I tried to do the same with this handsome alligator, but it’s hard to capture compassion when an animal is looking sideways instead of into the camera! Yet there is still something so magical about him…he really looks like a creature Maurice Sendak could have made up.