Thursday, January 27, 2011

Crocodile, Up Close and Personal

This is my favorite crocodile photo. This was a rare chance to look upwards at a crocodile in the wild from an angle to photograph the underside of his chin.

I was so close to this crocodile that an instant after I took this photo the crocodile rushed into the river and I got splattered with mud as he dove into the water. (Yes, I did use a telephoto zoom, so I was not as close as this photo appears.)

I took this photo from a wildlife boat excursion on the Tempisque River in Palo Verde National Park. Usually the crocodiles visible on such trips are in the mud along the river banks. This crocodile was up on the river bank, and the boat operator glided the bow of the boat into the river bank so that we could watch the crocodile up close. The boat is a good size, holding 20 or so people, so there is no danger from the crocodile on the boat.

As you can see from this photo angle, the crocodile was higher in elevation than the boat. Instead of the usual crocodile photo looking down on the top of his head and back, I was able to get a shot looking up to the underside of his chin. To get the best angle, I went to the side of the boat, leaned over with my camera hanging from my neck, and held the camera as low as I could, just above the water, to get a better angle to shoot up at the crocodile.
This crocodile was in the wild. He was not in a fenced in enclosure in a wildlife park or zoo. To get a photo this close and at this angle, the driver of a wildlife viewing boat excursion on the Tempisque River at Palo Verde National Park beached the boat for a few minutes so we could watch the crocodile. After a few minutes, he scampered down to the river to swim off, and I got this photo looking down at him from a rather close up perspective. Another photo I will post in the future will be a picture of crocodile who was so cloe that he splatttered mud on my shirt as he scampered into the water.

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