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.


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