Gator Mouth

The Florida Everglades: home to dangerous animals and even more dangerous humans. One time haunt of bootleggers and pirates, conquistadors and explorers. And a perfect place to gain some unique photos.

Hanging Gator SkullArmed with lenses ranging from 18 to 500mm focal lengths, we traveled through a section of swamp riddled with vultures and poisonous reptiles. But not to worry: the swamp buggy was perfectly safe. It’s actually a local attraction.

Nonetheless, there were some ominous ruins nearby, the remains of a workers’ camp  not far from an aging Seminole outpost. Apparently these gentlemen spent their off hours moonshining and alligator hunting. The skulls were everywhere amid what HPL might have termed “a miserable huddle of huts.”

Afterwards, we visited the nearby animal enclosure. Lions and tigers and… no bears, unfortunately. But the two former animal types were most impressive. For those of you who’ve never seen a live lion in the flesh, be ready for their roar. The bass tones literally vibrate against your rib cage! A more impressive feline I’ve yet to meet.

lionessA useful item to remember when shooting animals (wild or otherwise) is that they are hyper-vigilant, meaning that they react to the slightest movement. As a result they can be unpredictable subjects. Keep your camera on burst mode and shutter priority with an average speed of 1/320. This allows you to react quickly to their movements.

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Written by The Twilit Lens

Freelance photographer and ponderer of the unusual. I welcome the presence of mystery and the unknown. Wonder is not absent from the universe, and there is still room for the child in those who haven't yet allowed their hearts to wither to dust.

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