Watching

Ever get the feeling you are being watched? Well on a billabong that feeling is there all the time as salties are always watching out for that chance of an easy feed. Normally dark and mysterious they are the respected killers of the Top End.

It was the end of a long day on Yellow Water Billabong when I saw this saltie watching me. The problem was I was shooting directly into the sun making him a black silhouette on the water. Taking the challenge I changed to the electric motor and started to approach whilst maintaining the best distance for the image. The croc stayed on the surface and watched. An occasional long slow blink from a mesmerising eye emphasised a calculating killer instinct as I manouvered my tinnie to a better position.

A small tinnie and low seat puts me close to the water line - a definite advantage when photographing crocs and I could use it to my advantage on this occasion. Finally I came around into the light and colour began to appear in the crocs skin and the eye began to shine. One hand on the camera (mounted on a tripod in the tinnie) and the other driving the electric to hold position against the current I watched this croc through the viewfinder. I could see every detail of skin and eye as I captured this saltie watching.

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Paul's Wildlife Photography Tip

Don't be satisfied with the first sighting of your wildlife. Remember it is the same as any other form of photography, and use light to highlight or nullify aspects of you image. Shooting wildlife directly into the sun is a waste of time as a general rule unless you are going for a silhouette. Getting the sun onto part or all of your subject can be well worth the hard work of creeping around without disturbing and causing distress to your subject. Great shots generally require work on your behalf.