Photo of the Week: Croc Close-up

Croc Close Up

Today I put together my weekly editor’s note over at Vagabundo Magazine.  In the article to the readers I stress the idea that one doesn’t really need to go around the world to have a “travel experience.”  I’d be lying, however, if I said that it wasn’t something that I struggle with when I’m settled somewhere for a bit.  It really is hard to get out and discover places that are close to home.  So many things deter us from exploring: we are too busy with work, we don’t want to look like tourists, or because that place will always be there and we’ll always have the chance to visit it at a later date.  It’s a challenge to bring ourselves to fight these excuses.

While I was in Medellin I often fought these little battles.  I knew that the botanical gardens, the cable cars, and the zoo would all be there the next day, and I often caught myself saying “tomorrow, I’ll check it out tomorrow.”  In the end, I usually ended up winning the battles and really enjoying time spent in places like the gardens, and especially the zoo.  The photo of the crocodile above was taken at the Medellin Zoo, which might not be the world’s greatest zoo, but is certainly worth a visit.

How I Got this Shot

One of the biggest mistakes photographers make when starting out is that they try to get too much into an image.  If it’s a church they feel they need to get all of the church, if it’s a landscape they need to get it all, if it’s an animal all of it needs to be in the frame.  However, capturing the details of a certain subject often makes for great pictures.  The features of a location, building or even an animal often make the most powerful images.

The post processing of this image was actually much more simple than it appears.  Basically it was just a matter of adding blacks, reducing the saturation of selected colours and then playing with the levels to give the skin that deep textured look.  I would say the total post-processing time was about one minute, no more.

For the curious photographer this image of the crocodile was taken on a canon 70-200mm f/4 lens at 200mm, f/4, 1/40seconds and ISO 100.

Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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    • @Christy – Thanks!
      @50+ – Can I ask what type of brownies these were?

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  1. 50+ and on the run, thanks for the snort!

    I love the details of the skin. Those beady eyes freak me out though.

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    • @Jamie – hahaha, Jamie, I know the brownies have totally stolen the thunder from the photo. lol

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  2. Love this. That is the most common mistake I make. I always have to get everything in the shot. I seriously can’t help myself. My pictures are nice but have very little aesthetic value at all.

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    • Thanks Eric – I have to constantly remind myself of doing this. One trick I do sometimes is shoot a certain situation with the “wrong” lens which forces me to do this. For example, I’ll shoot animals with a wide angle or buildings with a zoom lens. That seems to jog my need to be creative about things.

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  3. Beautiful animal, I love the texture on him! Every day I berate myself for talking myself out of visiting local places. Just because I can’t travel until next year, doesn’t mean I can’t explore where I’m at, but I haven’t yet won that battle yet.

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  4. Awesome Pic! I’d say an ancient wisdom in that eye!

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    • Thanks, definitely has the wise eyes haha

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