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Friday, January 16, 2009

Bamboo Viper

This was my first photographic encounter with a venomous snake ever. The ones I met since I bought my DSLR last March were either roadkill, or I didn’t have my camera with me.

But during my walk through the woods last night, I finally met a very nice and beautiful venomous snake I could actually photograph – and my absolute favorite species among the 53 on the island. Not only was this the first time I’ve seen a live Taiwan Bamboo Viper (Trimeresurus stejnegeri stejnegeri), but it was also a juvenile (about six inches), and thus the perfect training partner for photographing any venomous serpents I hopefully will meet later in life: as long as I kept a six-inch distance, I didn’t have to worry about how to explain to the nice 911 lady how to get the ambulance to that remote spot in the boonies where the encounter took place. Also, it was a pretty chilly night (ca. 57 degrees F), so the viper was too sluggish to run off, but not too inert to change positions all the time. In short, the perfect model!

Black-naped Monarch

Yesterday, I finally saw and photographed my first Taiwan Black-naped Monarch (Hypothymis azurea oberholseri). Not the best composition, I know, but I'm so stoked about nailing him, I just had to post it....

Hasselblad Kingfisher

I put my Dad's Hasselblad/Zeiss 500mm Tele-Tessar to the test today, and I'm very impressed. The colors and sharpness are definitively worth the hassle (the lens weighs five pounds and cannot be handheld). Here's a nice kingfisher I shot with my weird Pentax K10D/TeleTessar rig this morning.