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Yellow Poison

Yellow Poison
Photo Information
Copyright: Nico van Gijsen (Nico) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 199 W: 1 N: 335] (1321)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-03-30
Categories: Reptiles
Camera: Nikon D70, Nikkor 70-300mm AF-G
Exposure: f/8, 1/1250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2005-05-29 5:06
Viewed: 5333
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The feared Cape Cobra (naja nivea) is endemic to Southern Africa. In Afrikaans it is called Kaapse Geelslang (Cape Yellow Snake), but actually can be anything from black spotted, yellow to golden coloured. They live in the drier parts, as this one I found in the dry Mabuasehube game reserve in Botswana. It lives off rodents, frogs and even snakes of its own kind. It is mainly nocturbal, although can sometimes be found during the day.
Cape Cobra's can grow up to 2 m. Up to 20 eggs are laid during the summer and birth are during February / March, little ones are between 300 and 400 mm in length.
The Cape Cobra has the most venomous neurotoxic poison of all of Africa's Cobras. It causes breathing and heart failure. It is also known to, other than most other snakes, to actually move closer to you when feeling threatend and will attack. Something I learnt by actual experience when going down and crawling closer to get this photo - we had no anti-venom and were at least two days drive away from an even basic medical facility, so I suppose it was a little reckless. Rather stay a fair distance away when photographing poisonous snakes like this.

manyee, magiqa, gerhardt, Callie, horia has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2005-05-29 5:58]

Hello, Nico. I am glad you are safe and sound. We appreciate photos of unusual animals, but not at the risk of our friends' lives... haha... It is a great shot of a beautiful specimen. Sharp details and great POV obtained through heroic efforts on your part. Very nice composition as well. Thank you very much for sharing. : )

Looks dangerous, but a beauty as well. How did you dare to go so close? Or did you have a good zoom? Very good picture!

Hi Nico, great capture, definitively I will give you my two points for being able to get a detailed cobra and not getting to close to get in trouble. TFS Iris

Very pleasing capture. The colors and details are well managed.

Maybe a little closer? :)

Very well done, Nico.

  • Great 
  • Callie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1101 W: 95 N: 2610] (7555)
  • [2005-05-30 14:11]

Hi Nico
Welcome BACK! Looks like the trip was nice - a beautful slithering baby you caught here. I like the POV and the raised head!
As for panning, I pan full autofocus, but I shoot continious, mostly f5.6, the widest the lens can open up. I have tried f2.8 on the 120-300, but it is very heavy, and I was not too succesfull. The roller was shot off the perch, so there was no panning, just static, waiting for takeoff. Try the Waterfront on gulls or Bloubergstrand, I wish I can see the Cape again.
Groetnis, ook by die huis. Ek is baie besig, nie tyd om my alie te draai nie, maar moet vanaand bietjie opvang.

  • Great 
  • Kris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 174 W: 0 N: 129] (1818)
  • [2005-06-04 16:02]

Absolutely magnificent. The pose, details and exposure. Everything.
Well done.
Regards, Krzysztof.

Nice. I really like the position of the snake within the frame here. I particularly like the way the tail comes toward the viewer yet the snake is facing us. Very unusual perspective for a snake shot.

On top of that, it is also a very beautiful nivea as well. I am not in love with the background, but when dealing with dangerous snakes, you have to take what you can get!


  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-06-30 3:37]

A beautiful animal in a beautiful picture. I love the way the white FG and BG emphasize the animal. The detail is also very good. Great capture!!!
Bravo and TFS

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