This is a photo of one of the many beautiful alligators that live in the Florida Everglades. I took this on a trip through this amazing place when I visited back in 2009.
our guide was incredibly knowledgeable about the area and the animals, and explained that the ones which came close to the boats tended to be the older ones hence the bigger ones, as they were more familiar with the sight of tourists and were not as easily spooked as the younger creatures. She told us that they tour guides could recognize the individual animals by the unique markings they obtained as they grew older, but also told us not to be disappointed if we seen none, as it was purely a journey of luck.
We were in luck however as this rather large one came very close to us once we stopped, and hovered in the water, a couple of feet away. It was then that I saw the colors that the tour guide referred to and was amazed at how distinct they were and how beautiful these creatures are up close. I would not have gotten any closer though, as this animal was really big.
As a thank you to him for paying us a visit, the guide treated him to a whole chicken, which he are in much the same way I would eat an M&M.
As the boat we were in was very flat and with very low sides, we did not linger too long, and as soon as the engines started, he disappeared below the murky surface. Much to the nervous relief of everybody on board.
Post inspired by Rogers cool post today of another of these amazing animals, Rogers photo is here :
Thanks for looking
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imageme (1790) 2014-03-14 12:44
HI Noel Byrne, What a special encounter in your journey in Florida. This head of the alligator looks like a metallic mask floating on the water. The natural colours are wonderfully delivered with good light management. Best regards
Fis2 (102276) 2014-03-14 13:01
Strange and interesting creature ;)
Good frame and curious colors.
Very impressive picture.
Have a nice weekend
photographer_sg (4414) 2014-03-14 13:10
that's an alligator... wow. It looks meticulously sculpted and then plated with the most amazing shades of blue giving it the appearance of an alien :-). The shot like all your others is a unique presentation with immense visual impact. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend.
chrislo (4097) 2014-03-14 13:56
You've managed a fantastic and impressive portrait of this alligator's head. Though the sunlight had very harsh effects on its skin, in this case it was rather advantageous as it revealed a very strange face (devil, alien...) on top of its skull. An amazing shot and a fascinating image perfectly captured.
ourania (48706) 2014-03-14 14:19
an awesome animal in a simple, graphical and captivating portrait. He approached the boat to have his portrait taken and you made the most of the opportunity. Funny you mentioned the M&M, the "murky surface" looks like chocolate:) I like very much the symmetry and the textures, the light reflections are fantastic. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a lovely weekend,
carlo62 (52014) 2014-03-14 15:33
interessante grafismo, questa grande testa è perfettamente inquadrata.
Ci sono dei colpi di luce molto evidenti che sottolineano gli occhi.
ACL1978 (7511) 2014-03-14 19:19
I'm glad you escaped this shot with all your limbs still attached, Noel! Amazingly close shot here, and a brilliant angle on this guy. The detail and the light shining from his hide is outstanding.
Seems like a lot of us have taken close-up shots of alligators and crocodiles; I'm posting my own to your workshop. Mine was taken through plexiglass in a zoo, though, so not as death-defying...
Sonata11 (33969) 2014-03-14 21:16
Wow!!! awesome. I will better stay far a way. Just beautiful and wonderfully executed. I like the colors, sharpness and fantastic clarity. Tfs your beautiful work. Best regards and have a great WE, Barbara
emka (102531) 2014-03-14 23:26
Hello Noel, I saw Roger's photo and of course it reminded me the alligators from Everglades. I was also on such a trip (in 2006) with some gators close to the boat, but none posed so nicely. fantastic close up, so impressiv as the bull.
WArm regrads MAlgo
delpeoples (59184) 2014-03-15 3:48
hehehehe, that croc is giving you the glad eye. He's thinking, should I just munch him down now, or maybe wait til after he downs a few wheat juices and I can get a feed aswell as a drink? I had to stare at this for ages to work out what was going on here. At first I thought it was one of those ancient fossils struck in bronze or something, but I absolutely love the way you played with the light here and turned this into something almost abstract. Very arty farty, in the nicest possible way. I hope you're gearing up for a very happy and wheat-juice-sodden Paddy's Day. I will definitely have 6 or 7 in your honour :)
timecapturer (49288) 2014-03-15 4:09
a superb shot this and so scary. I had a close encounter with one of these when I was in the Everglades but I was on foot, not in a boat. I never got the chance to rattle of a shot though as I was backing off at a fairish pace. I love the light in this shot it adds to the menace and power of this shot superbly. Awesome image and one that has brought back a memory that still makes my hair twitch a bit. Love it!
Have an enjoyable weekend - B (Adrenaline Junkie!).
snunney (103207) 2014-03-15 4:11
This is a great close-up on this awesome creature. I like the lighting and the 3-D effect. Great colours and sharpness.
jcpix (13930) 2014-03-15 21:31
Wayyyy too close for comfort, I'm happy you're still counting all ten fingers...presumably. :) Since alligator is actually on a number of exotic menus, your title and close-up beg the question...is he to become lunch, or the photog??
Even with mouth closed, this is quite an ominous image...these bad boys can be wicked fast when they want...and without a weapon in your possesion, he climbs right to the top of the food chain! :o
Oh man, look at those steely eyes, and who knows how much more lies beneath the surface...this could even be Godzilla. If he stands up out of the water on two legs, those engines on the boat won't do you much good unfortunately!
So now we have alligator and buffalo, what's next to join the zoo? I'm still in awe of how those tiny birds get away with hanging around inside of the mouths of these guys...nature works in mysterious ways. If only I could have 'em come clean my teeth too, instead of going to the dentist in fear!?
Really cool shot, and one that even makes me nervous from behind the monitor. Chomp chomp! They make some of the creepiest gurgling sounds too, scary cool creatures. Great shot! Enjoy the rest of your long weekend mate. I raise a glass to you and your countrymen. Enjoy St. Paddy's. Go green!
Cheers from the lucky four armed cactus,
One drink, two drink, three drink, floor! :)
Subhogen (4067) 2014-03-16 2:21
Ha Ha ..nice choice of title, I like it !
Your POV and angle makes this creature looks really dangerous. I can well imagine the thrill you had to see this beast in its natural habitat. Excellent close-up shot of the alligator's snout with sharp details all over the frame. Good wildlife shot thanks for sharing.
abmdsudi (56298) 2014-03-16 20:05
Superb image of this gorgeous eating machine, hard to recognise from thumbnail and close using the long end of your zoom almost look too personal but would you trust this gator! This ancient beast certainly looks menacing from here and makes shivers run down my spine! His markings really show how well they are camouflaged against the murky water, i think this guy was clearly well fed coz lots of wildlife down there really did not seem to care. I like the detail in this image!! Great wildlife shot and tx for sharing. Congrats
macjake (70515) 2014-03-17 12:29
we should put this photo side by side with Jason's Bull!
have to say, i didn't expect to see this one in your gallery.
its pretty much as close to a Dinosaur as we're going to get. I have to share the sentiment of the people on board, lets not hand around for too long!
funny comment about the M&M lol
willperrett (11440) 2014-03-17 14:25
Close encounters of the unsettling kind! You don't say what lens you were using. I hope it was a long one! I'm reminded of a post I made a while ago. Just for the record, here it is.
Miguel82 (27648) 2014-04-02 18:51
it's amazing to see that these reptiles cross so many periods from dinosaurs time to nowadays, a brillant portrait of that american alligator perfectly captured from Florida's swamps, a scary encounter..