On a recent photo assignment a client wanted an action shot of a reptile catching an insect. The concept was to illustrate the speed and accuracy of an animal that dates back to the age of dinosaurs. Talk about great design.
This lizard, with it’s beautiful arrow-shaped head and spiny points, and scales along the skin of the throat made it an ideal subject to photograph. The “beard” in the dragon’s name comes from it’s ability to flare out it’s throat to scare off potential predators.
The tongue of a lizard is covered in a thick mucus, which sticks to the prey, and allows the dragon to draw the tongue, with prey attached, back into their mouths for eating.
Because the reptile flicks it’s sticky tongue out to snare their prey faster than the human eye can see, high speed strobes were needed.
Setting my flashes to high speed sync, and my camera to it’s maximum flash sync speed of 1/250 of a second, my settings were ISO 100, 84mm, f16, 1/1000sec.
My three 550EX flashes had no problem keeping up with my settings and the lightening fast tongue strikes. It was my reflexes on the shutter that made the photo shoot go into overtime. Thank goodness this cooperative lizard had a healthy appetite.
This cricket didn’t stand a chance.