A Rattlesnake in defensive coil position watches the intruder very carefully as photographed by Gary Orona.
While canyoneering in the Red Rocks near Las Vegas, Nevada yesterday I stumbled upon this Rattlesnake nestled up in the bedrock. He gave me fair warning which I thanked him for but it doesn’t ease the stress of knowing that when one treads off the beaten path, which I do about four times a week, these little fellas are everywhere. I’ve lost count of the Pit Vipers I’ve stumbled into and in all but two cases I knew they were there long before I was in striking distance.
To get this shot I used a 200mm Nikkor on a GH3 which makes it the equivalent of 400mm on a 35mm film camera. I couldn’t get focus as tight as I wanted to be ( the close focus is about 6 feet with this lens!) so I attached an extension tube to the 200mm and got the perfect shot.
So it was just this snake and me for awhile as I went through the motions of getting the stills and video I wanted and as time passed an interesting thing happened. Now mind you, I had no distractions… no touristy “ewwwws” and “ahhhhs” and other banter which destroys the spirit of the moment. There were no Teens or Tweens or Toddlers to wreak havoc on this, my meditation, with the snake. And as I watched his eyes carefully I realized he was looking side to side then back at me and he looked worried. After a few minutes of just watching his eyes my primal sense of scary evaporated and he suddenly became for me exactly what he was, that is, a frightened animal in a defensive posture wanting nothing to do with me and hoping I’d hit the trail very soon. In fact after some time I couldn’t even get him to fire up his rattler (which I wanted for the video) as he was clearly done with this situation and I’m sure if he could speak he’d say, “come on Man can we just part ways and go on about our days in peace?”
I packed up the gear and bid him goodbye. Take fear out of the equation and the world is a much different place.
This show reel is comprised of clips from just a few of the feature length films I’ve created, produced and directed for the adult market. There is a tiny, fast flash of toplessness and some semi-violent conent so it may not be safe for work in some circumstances depending on your work environment.