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Grass Snake

Grass Snake
Photo Information
Copyright: Hollie is an SLR novice (slrnovice2) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 331 W: 31 N: 344] (1197)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-06-19
Categories: Reptiles
Camera: Canon 20D, EF 75-300mm IS USM, Hama Skylight 1-A
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/500 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): 5 favs. and up, 100 points or more (Chapter 1), Karatash's other favorite -II-, Reflections, Trentaure at its Best [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-06-20 14:14
Viewed: 132465
Favorites: 10 [view]
Points: 148
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Ok I admit it, I snuck back to Thursley without breathing a word to anyone. A lot of my images from our last trip came out dark and I wanted a second shot. The *plan* was to get there early, go get images of lizards while they were warming up in the early morning and then amble around as the fancy took me. What actually happened is that I arrived when some visitors were duck feeding and couldn't resist the opportunity for mayhem photos. This turned out to be fortuitous, not cos of great images of duck mayhem but because this grass snake decided this was a good time for an early morning swim.

Camera Settings
I was all set up for ducks and still don't know how to use my partner's off camera Canon 580 flash but this snake wasn't hanging about until I'd reset the camera and figured out the flash, that's for sure. It meant business and it was moving fast so I didn't have much option except point and shoot! Luckily I already had the focus mode set to al servo so I just pointed and shot ;)

The day was early and this meant ISO 800 to get 1/500 speed for possible bird antics. This meant that besides a small crop and cloning specks out of the water I needed to use NeatImage to get rid of BG noise. I tried gaussian blur first but this seemed to lose some of the detail of the water swell which I liked. I also used levels on a small part of the snake body.

Grass Snakes
The grass snake is often found near water, by ponds, canals and on grassy heaths. It swims well as you can see (in fact in this case it hasn't even broken the water surface which I find amazing). It is not venemous and feeds on frogs, fish and will even go for nesting birds. It lays eggs in decaying vegetation because vegetation warms up as it decays. This may be waterside vegetation or your very own compost heap. This snake hibernates during winter. You can identify it by its greenish body with dark blotches along its flanks. Unlike the Adder it has a round pupil and unlike the rarer Smooth Snake it has a yellow collar around it's neck. Apparently the grass snake is less common than it used to be which is a shame cos I think it is an attractive snake.

I hope you like it.

twin, sAner, PDP, Ina, naki, puffy, AndyB, AdrianW, liquidsunshine, Fisher, TAZ, Runnerduck, dew77, marhowie, Janice, dsidwell, Luc, danbachmann, sandpiper2, hummingbird24, shirgold, thistle, Remig, soccer, aido, Alan_Kolnik, joey, JoshLewis, keldermt, sranjan has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To AdrianW: Thanks :)slrnovice2 1 06-21 08:47
To PDP: Thanksslrnovice2 1 06-21 08:34
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • twin Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 244 W: 17 N: 494] (3259)
  • [2005-06-20 14:18]

it is an amazing shot Hollie...
everything is so clear with the warm light...
yep, I like it so much...
thanks for sharing...

  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-06-20 14:20]
  • [2]

This is excellent Hollie! I love snakes (there are not a lot of pictures of snakes on TN unfortunately) and a snake in the water is even better. This photo has razorsharp details, great colors, good POV, excellent DOF and a very strong composition. This is exactly how I like it. Well done & TFS!


  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-06-20 14:27]
  • [+]

Fantastic shot Hollie, imagine snaking, er I mean sneaking back there without telling anyone. This is a great shot, I'm very jealous. I've wanted a decent Grass snake picture for a long time and this would have satisfied me. Very well done!

  • Great 
  • Ina Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 111 W: 6 N: 101] (767)
  • [2005-06-20 15:01]

Fantastic picture of this snake... I love the reflection in the water and the fantastic clear details in the head and eye... TFS...Ina...

  • Great 
  • puffy Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 289 W: 0 N: 339] (1351)
  • [2005-06-20 15:15]

Excellent shot Hollie, what a gorgous little thing! Very well captured, the sharpness, clarity and the reflection, just beautiful. Very well done, thanks for sharing. :)

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2005-06-20 15:29]

Hello Hollie,
This is a fantastic capture.
Composition and details are perfect,great lighting and a superb reflection in the still water.
Well done!

  • Great 
  • puciu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 16] (2631)
  • [2005-06-20 17:02]

fantastyczne zdjêcie, ¶wietna jako¶æ i dobra kompozycja.

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2005-06-20 17:25]

Une belle présentation.

Félicitations pour la netteté et l'exposition.

Well spotted and captured, a picture to be proud of. Love the reflections. Well done.

Great shot! You've really done well with this one, focus is spot on, and the composition is excellent - I particularly like the reflection of the snake's head. You've done well with NeatImage too, I didn't notice you'd used it until I saw your note! Not sure whether a tighter crop might help? Anyway, excellent capture :-D

P.S. I have to chuckle, I was on Thursley yesterday myself - although I was down there in the evening rather than the morning! I wonder whether this is the same grass snake that I saw? Was it swimming in the moat pond, on the far side from the car park?

Wonderful shot Hollie,
Superb details, sharpness and colors. Fantastic POV and great DOF. Well composed. A cracking capture, really very well done.
Thanks for posting

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2005-06-20 18:44]

Hollie is not an SLR novice.!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a ssssssuper shot. Excellent composition and details. The reflection is fantastic.


  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2005-06-21 0:05]

That is an awesome shot, Hollie. The focus on the head is incredibly sharp. The reflection on the water is wonderful, and the water is... just beautiful. Congratulations for a stunning capture. TFS. ; )

  • Great 
  • naki Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 382 W: 27 N: 5] (40)
  • [2005-06-21 7:17]

Hi Hollie, you're not a novice anymore. This is a wonderful capture. Excellent clearity of the details. Great Dof, Pov and composition.
Very well done.

This is a stunning shot Hollie, the reflection is perfect. I really like the stillness of the water as well. Superb.
-Will you be posting any of the ducks? ;-)
Thanks for posting.

Great shot, Hollie.
Look like it floating on the water.
Great reflection, very good details, nice POV and well composed.
Excellent work.

Nice, love the reflection

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2005-06-22 3:39]

Wow ! Beautiful & interesting composition for this snail on water ! Good colors, DOF and details ! TFS Hollie.

Hollie, very good moment you captured!
Nice composition! Excellent shot, great lighting, details and sharpness, nice bg and contrast. Very well done, thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-06-22 4:08]

Hello Hollie!
Really amazing shot.Details,reflection on water,lighting,colors and composition are perfectçTFS...:-)

Great shot, very simple, just the animal, nothing else to distract the eye. Also I like the bending of the water surface around the snake's body.

Excellent capture.Superb details, sharpness and colors.
Well done!

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2005-06-23 4:21]

Superb! Wonderful capture of the snake on the water. It looks like a mirror with such sharp reflections on it. His head and top half are so sharp and clear. Well done Hollie, I like it.

Hello Hollie! This is an excellent capture. Very sharp and detailed with the reflection combined with the still water creating a unique and unusual effect. Very well done!

  • Great 
  • Midi Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 146 W: 24 N: 183] (2418)
  • [2005-06-25 8:53]

Magnifique photo de serpent avec un joli reflet dans l'eau. Belles couleurs, bonne netteté.
Splendid photograph of snake with a pretty reflection in water. Beautiful colors, good clearness.

Congratulatiosn for this one, is a really interesting shot, appart from beatiful. Amazing how they move on the water. Beautiful tones of liquid lead on the water and although the DOF is shallow you got a nice focus on the head. A week ago I had the oportunity on the river to get one, but I was in macro for the damselflyes and had not time to change, bad luck :D

I just can't resist snake photos! I just posted one myself. This is so effective with the curve of the snake on the water--a perfect background, luckily. I also really like the reflection in the water.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-06-26 20:34]
  • [2]

Hello Hollie!
Personal assessment of the photo: excellent.
Very strong visual impact.
Aptness of the photo for the site: excellent.
Personal assessment of the note: complete.
Thank you very much for sharing.
Have a great week!

Amazing shot! He's really swimming on the water! Good light and sharpness. Nice composition. TFS

Really excellent, Hollie ! The exposure is very good. This snake is like a movie star, with a spot of light directly above its head !;-)
Incredible, the way it moves on water..

  • Great 
  • DLM Silver Star Critiquer [C: 19 W: 0 N: 2] (124)
  • [2005-06-29 13:04]

Hi Hollie ,Top shot.Wonderfull capture.Nice sharp image with wonderful colour.
Well done.

hello:) wow :) what a beauty photo:) really amaizing view:) great capture with exellent DOF:)



Wow, good note and amazing clarity of the water, eye everything. This one really comes out and grabs me. It seems that the snake is swimming through oil as the surface tension isn't completely broken by the snake's body!

WOW! This is a very nice picture. The focus on the head is perfect. TFS.


What a great shot Hollie, can't believe that water tension. Briiiant sharp details and great POV. The reflection is a bonus. This is the beauty of digital, just shoot when the oportunity arises, if they don't come out no one will ever know. Well done.

Hello Hollie,

I have missed so many great shots as of lately, but no matter, I will catch up to a degree...

This is an amazing capture and you have photographed it beautifully!

Great detail and focus on the head, wonderful composition (it appears to be floating in the air at first glance,) and excellent POV.

Congratulations and thank you for sharing it with us.

amazing shot! it's perfect! i like the reflex oh the snake's head on water, and the shape that the snake does in the water! beautiful! thank you

Magical! Everything about this photo is sinuous. E

This is scary - brilliant composition and the details are amazingly crisp. It is an outstanding catch Holly.

Hollie, this is one awesome photo, congrats

Caramba!!! que perfeiçao!!! Perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi Hollie,
My mouth is still wide open!!!
It is reallt a fantastic shot. Details are amazing, the moment you captured is very impressive.
TFS this - it is a real pleasure to look at this picture.

Beautiful shot.

I particularly like the way you have captured the even pattern of the sky (whether by PS or by lens) in the water. The smooth featureless background really accentuates the shape and texture of the snake.

If I have to have a complaint, the eye isn't as sharp as the rest of the body, but hey! snakes move! You have to take what you can get.

  • Great 
  • Dave Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 503 W: 43 N: 657] (2178)
  • [2005-11-06 23:30]

Absolutely incredible!
The smooth texture of the water, the reflection of the snake's head, great focus, and great POV!

  • Great 
  • PerR Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 21 W: 2 N: 16] (99)
  • [2005-12-14 3:33]

Ain't got words enough. Just incredible.
Regards / Per

Hi Hollie,
This is an incredible capture. I love the muted colour palette and the delicate DOF, sharpness is in just the right place IMHO.

Great shot, nice reflection. TFS

How could I missed that!?
It's one of the most imazing pictures of grass snake I've ever seen. I have some of them in pond behind my house but I never managed to take a picture of any swimming. This one is perfect. Love the reflection in the water and everything else.

Hi, Hollie.
It's one of the best photos I have seen last days. Excellent composition and sharpness. And very interesting - swimming snake. Nice soft water BG.

I see very interesting and great shot!:) is very nice... I salute:) bye

What an excellent shot. Smooth water and the snake just gliding through it. Excellent POV and FANTASTIC detail.

Well Done

  • Great 
  • Remig Silver Note Writer [C: 9 W: 0 N: 16] (133)
  • [2006-04-16 4:12]

great shot. You did well for just grabbing and going. A great case for preparing ahead as you did.

Really excellent, AMAZING SHOT, Excellent composition and details.

Hi Hollie, is simply stunning.


  • Great 
  • soccer Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 587 W: 0 N: 655] (2557)
  • [2006-05-16 8:27]
  • [2]


Amazing scene. The sharpness is great! I love your POV, Composition, detail and DOF. Excellent work! TFS,

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-05-20 6:51]

Hi Hollie,
Greetings from Transylvania! Wow! Excellent shot, the way the snake is almost on top of the water and the way the water looks 'dented' is quite amazing. Perfect reflection, a quite stunning shot. And for a grab shot too, a fantastic result. You know you're going to have to stop masquerading as a novice :-)

Wonderful shot of this very interesting species! Although hardness of the subject, technically superb! I can't say anymore!

The focus on the head and the reflection are excellent - every detail completely clear. The composition is excellent - makes the fact that the snake is moving rapidly very apparent.

Hi Hollie!
This shot is just wonderful. The snake looks as if it were sitting still in some sort of a very thick jelly liquid. Excellent exposure and composition, sharp detail, fantastic reflection of snake's head in the water. Congratulations,

Great pic Hollie. Especially like the sharpness of the reflection on the water.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-02-22 10:54]

What an amazing shot! I love the way you captured the reflection and the water tension around its body.
TFS joey

  • Great 
  • jack123 (306)
  • [2007-05-10 20:19]

superbe !!!!
tout est bien geré sur cette photo et avec en plus un reflet du plus belle effet
bien joué


Magnifique photo !

un grand bravo !


The strong point for me is the sharp reflection of its eye in the water, that makes it really surprisingly coming outof the deep! The double-size head looks like a wide open snake-mouth, ready to swallow creatures bigger than itself. Great shot!


cette photo est excellente! j'adore le reflet de la tête sur l'eau et la viscosité de l'eau sur la peau du serpent!

Great picture!! The smoothness of the water, the way the water bends under the weight of the snake, the reflection of the snake on the calm surface of the water!!! all these are making the picture an extraordinary one.

Did Cast Spell!

Nice shot! A wonderful reminder of the laws of physics! The reflection, the sharpness and colour are wonderful! Great work!

Hello Hollie.

Excellent picture, nice composition and colors.
Very good details.

jose Luis.

Awesome snake photo! Its amazing how the water does'nt have many ripples, and theres a perfect reflection! Also very nice notes! Congrats on this photo being on the front page! Cheers Josh Lewis.

Brilliant Hollie. Thanks for sharing! -Kelly

Very good snake image through the light, reflection, compo,...
Well done..

TFS, it's really amazing!
Im shocked, really! Stunning photo!

really amazing shot!
perfect ;)
I like the reflection and the position of the Natrix
really good work



Excellent shot with attractive composition!! Nice result through reflection!!! regards erodotos

Very well shot photograph of grass snake with perfect details of its face, reflection in water and ripple free water showing surface tension of water - effects of.

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