Prime Evil

The salt water crocodile is the apex predator of the billabongs and waterways of the top end and is always on the look out for an easy feed. Born hunters they will take to the safety of the water nine times out of ten as they are less vulnerable in the water than on the bank. This in itself poses a problem of getting close enough to a saltie to get the desired image. In this case I was in a 12 foot tinnie and used an electric motor to get close. Unfortunately the electric motor whilst quiet is not the answer to everything.

This croc was high on the bank, in fact if he launched of the bank he could have landed in the boat as he was higher than me. A great position because it meant as I photographed him he was at eye level. So I had a great view point just had to manourve my tinnie around so that I had the sun in the right position - current and wind add to the challenge of that.

All the time it is a game of concentration and watching. Watching for the signs personal space is being invaded. Watching for that twitch that comes before the race to the water. That was the last thing I needed so I owuld move in and out on my line showing my intent was not to be a threat. Finally after time seemed to be lost I had my tinnie close enough to capture this image. Given that I enjoy the challenge of shooting full frame in the view finder images like this become a test of wit and observation to get close enough without disturbing my subject.

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Paul's Wildlife Photography Tips

Learn and understand your subjects. If hides are not a viable option and stalking is the solution then learn the tell tale habits that show when you're getting too close. Challenge yourself to get in and out without disturbing your subject. If my subject stays in the same position after I leave then I have done my job.