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Why I Love Wildlife Photography - Alligator Edition #1

By PierreL | My Work | 1 Apr 2021


As some of you probably know, one of the things I love the most is wildlife photography. I bought my camera to shoot videos, and it's definitely not the best for stills so I get frustrated pretty fast, but it allows me to play around enough for now and I'll probably buy a dedicated camera when I can allocate a bigger budget for it.

When it comes to photography, nothing inspires me, motivates me and talks to me more than seeing and capturing an image of Mother Nature doing its thing without caring about our human problems. There's just something so satisfying about watching wild animals living their lives, waiting for minutes, hours, days, weeks to get the perfect shot, and then finally getting it. And if the picture can be funny, then it's an added bonus!

A few days ago, I was going through my hard drives to try to find some pictures to upload on my stock footage portfolios, and I rediscovered pictures I had taken a while ago and forgotten about. Well, it was actually all in 2020 but I feel like it's been 10 years...

I tweeted this picture and it became my most popular tweet ever in a matter of seconds, and that made me want to write this post and share more pictures of our scaled friends.

Since I spend quite a lot of time in Florida, I tend to see a lot of alligators (although not as much as I'd like), and they always make good photography models for three main reasons:

  • They spend most of their time doing nothing and staying still, which is an amazing gift to make a wildlife photographer,
  • Life just happens around them and on them, often creating fun situations (as seen above),
  • Gators are simply awesome, come on...

 

So, without further ado, here are my favorite gator shots and the story behind them:

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The Hitchhiker
Lumix G7 - 150mm - f/5.6 - 1/800s - ISO 400

In 2020, a baby gator appeared in the pond of my apartment complex, and stayed there for a few months until someone probably reported it to animal control, I assume. It was a great opportunity to hang out with one of these amazing animals up close, without even needing to even leave my place. As I was enjoying one of these private sessions, a dragonfly came out of nowhere and landed on baby gator's eye, allowing me to capture what is, to date, my favorite picture. I also love how the water looks here, almost gooey. I just wish I had a better lens on hand to get even closer to the action... 

 

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Hairdo
Lumix G7 - 150mm - f/5.6 - 1/200s - ISO 400

This was taken in Lettuce Lake Park, in Tampa, FL (which is a park I definitely recommend if you're ever in the area and you want to have a comfy access to a bunch of Florida wildlife, for free). The name Lettuce Lake was not chosen randomly, as the water is covered with this "lettuce". This means that, when the gators come out, they usually get a fancy new hairdo, as did my model here. I love the look he's giving me here like "What? Do I have something stuck in my teeth?"

 

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Teef
Lumix G7 - 150mm - f/6.3 - 1/160s - ISO 400

Same location, different puppy. I love the details on this one, especially the teeth sticking out. Such a modern day dinosaur, and this guy has freakingly white teeth, whiter than most humans I've met haha.

 

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Don't mind me, I'm a tree
Lumix G7 - 45mm - f/6.3 - 1/160s - ISO 400

Same guy, wider angle. I also love the details here, the scales on the back and the tail (artistically folded), the difference between the back and the belly, the legs crouched as if ready to jump, and, of course, the slight touches of lettuce here and there.

 

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Baby Croc, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Lumix G7 - 150mm - f/5.6 - 1/160s - ISO 400

This eye reminds me so much of Smaug for The Hobbit, and I love how clear the water was, showing its body gently floating under there.

 

 

Let me know which picture is your favorite! If you want to see more wildlife photography, you can head over to my instagram @pierre__lizet. Finally, all of these, and more, are available to download and use (in high quality and unbranded) on Shutterstock and soon on Getty and Adobe Stock as well.

 

 

 

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PierreL
PierreL

French video editor, wildlife photographer, amateur space junkie, sports and history buff and crypto enthusiast.


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