Alligators, Bull Island SC

Zooming and cropping always present an opportunity for a judgement call – often, more than one.  In the field, I’m driven by the knowledge that the closer my photo to the final cropping, the better the resolution.  But how close is close enough?  And how close is too close?

Multiple subjects offer an opportunity to experiment with different angles and degrees of zoom.  What works best?

The extreme zoom, clearly recognizable for what it is but invoking the mental activity of “completion” on the part of the viewer?

Close-up of alligator.

The face-on view, albeit avoiding the self-consciousness of eye contact?

Face-on view of alligator.

The angled side-on view, suggesting alertness and (OMG) movement?

Side-on view of alligator

Or the full profile, suggesting a mug shot?

Side view of alligator.

Fun, eh?

Here’s my favourite: The angled side-on view with just a touch more cropping.

Moderate close-up of alligator




    1. Isabel Gibson

      Barbara – Yes, when I visited an alligator farm in Florida (to get photos of birds) I was surprised to find how compelling the gators were. Not that I was even the teensiest bit interested in getting into the enclosure with them.

  1. Tom Watson

    Seems to me that, given that small alligators can run as fast as 25 mph for a short burst, should I be caught too close to one of them fellers, it would be one of those “feet don’t fail me now” situations!

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Tom – I dunno. Our guides said that the fastest they move is when they’re lunging back into the water. And I guess that we’re too big to be of interest as a snack.

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