Flash! The Alligator Snapped

Posted by Robert H Carney on

alligator canvas picture prints

Alligator Canvas Picture Prints

This image always manages to excite me when I see it!

It was photographed several years ago in a swamp on Lake Jackson near Lakeland, Florida. All the locals referred to him as “Bubbah,” presumably because he was so big. At the time I had little knowledge of alligators and just thought of it as a big alligator. He was indeed a large alligator and even after several years of seeing alligators I believe him to be big indeed!

He was said to be 12 to 14 feet long and in most folks viewpoint that is a lot of alligator! Most of the time that I saw him he was lounging in the sunlight and seemingly not with a care in the world. I was there for a week visiting my brother and his family and would stop in at the Circle B Bar Reserve, as the facility was called, to see if I might capture a more interesting side of his personality so to speak. I usually am up before sunrise when seeking good light for my photo escapades and today was no different. It took me about 45 minutes to hike out to the place he usually resided and no disappointment today! He must have been hungry as he was floating about his pond and often thrashing the water as he moved. One of the surprising sights you will ever see is a huge alligator obviously trolling the water in search of food, with at least 25 different shorebirds nonchalantly strolling about the shoreline. They surely know something but it was quite a sight for me at the time.

Hunting for the Best [Photo]shots

As a photographer many times one can become very engrossed in the activity of composing the picture, setting the camera, and generally getting set up. This depends on the photographer of course, but if not careful he or she may become too intent on the camera and not intent enough on the surrounding area. In

In retrospect, this may have been my situation, but it all worked out for me, fortunately! As I was zooming in and out or generally snapping away at a pretty tight shot of the alligator’s eye he seemed to make a fast movement that made me alert to his motion. He had snapped at a fish in the water and with all the birds suddenly flying into the air and the thrashing in the water my attention could not have been any more focused! Then within a minute, it became quiet again and all was as before. To my amazement, it seemed as though nothing had happened at all…

The birds slowly returned to the shoreline and the alligator continued to troll the pond in a slow circular motion again. My surprise was that somehow nothing had happened and I was left to wonder????

Well the trip was coming to an end and I made my way home to Atlanta the next day thinking I would find some pretty boring images of an alligator lolling in the sun as the sum of my efforts! Imagine my surprise when I began to edit my images to find this Tilapia jumping out of reach of the alligator and I had captured it with a high shutter speed as he sped out of reach! Such can be the delight of photography and is one of the reasons that even at my age I continue to make pictures and seek the excitement of the craft!

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