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Thread: Watersnake eats fish

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    Dec 2009
    Memphis, TN
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    Default Watersnake eats fish

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    I was photographing a dragonfly on the dam at a lake in my neighborhood when I heard a thump near me and looked up to see this snake with a sunfish in its mouth. The snake seemed to be using the rock to push the fish up against it to help get it down the snake's throat. The snake struggled with the fish for a few moments at this point and at first I thought he had captured more than he could swallow. This is shown in the first three images. He then took his meal and disappeared under a rock by the lake's shore. I went back to photographing dragonflies. Several minutes later the snake came back out from under the rock with an obvious lump showing he had successfully devoured the fish. The last two shots show him still working to get the fish fully down. He seems to let out a nice belch in the last image.

    As far as photographing the action, this occurred on the lake dam which was a hill covered with rocks. I would have liked a little lower perspective for the images but this was the best I could do given the terrain. As far as settings, I shot the first image as soon as I saw the snake with aperture still on what I was using for dragonflies, f11 (1/500s). I was shooting in Aperture Priority at EV -1/3 which I often use for dragonflies. I usually shoot in manual otherwise but chose to stick with Aperture Priority in this case. For the second image I moved to f6.3 (1/2500s) wondering if the snake would thrash around with the fish. He was staying fairly still though so for the third image I chose to move to f9 (1/1250s) for a balance of DOF and shutter speed. The last two images were shot at f8. All images were shot at ISO 400.

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