Alligators From Ding Darling NWR

I am going through my backup drives trying to clean out files for the New Year that are not needed or duplicates. But in the process I am finding files I have not used or adjusted. Work always seemed to get in the way! Here are a few from a trip years ago in 2011 to the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. All images were taken with a Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens on a Canon 7D. We were walking the Indigo Trail & Cross Dike Trail and came upon a couple of alligators sunning themselves. The featured image with the alligator was in the shade under some branches near the edge of the water as we walked past. For some reason it seems like it is almost smiling in the images.

Alligator_FL 400mm v1_MG_1958

Same Alligator from farther away before I decided to get closer.   ( 400mm, Canon 7D )

This Alligator below was further down the trail from the featured Alligator. Again I shot 2 images for the panorama. I have since changed my technique by shooting more images for my panoramas. With adding more images for the panorama at different focus points, I can use an f/stop of f/8 or so. This way I get a more even focus across the whole panorama. If I do not need them I just skip to the next frame in the series of images. But at least I know I have enough images to use for making the pano. It is amazing how fast these alligators can move when they want to.

Alligator_2img vert_pano_v2_400mmUntitled-1

Another Alligator further down the trail – 2 – 400mm images stacked panorama @ f/11, assembled in Photoshop





9 Comments on “Alligators From Ding Darling NWR

  1. I just saw an image of a woman getting extreme closeups of a moose…with her iPhone. She was lucky that the bull and his cow were benign at least for that moment. It is beyond amazing the things people will do not realizing that these are WILD animals and, as you say, can move very fast. There was a time in Maine when the moose hadn’t been hunted for over a century and they were not aggressive towards people but that has changed…and of course the bulls are not at all tolerant during their rut. And I am sure you hear stories of folks getting too close to alligators down your way.
    Nice images with that nice 400, Reed. As for the grin, well we’ve always heard of evil people with their crocodile smiles. 🙂

    • I agree Steve! It is amazing what I see people doing in some of the NWRs I frequent. Most often when alligators are near a path, they have staff there to keep people from getting too close. I like getting close with long lenses! The 400mm Canon DO on a 7D body has a field of view equivalent to a 640mm lens. So I was pretty far away for the one with water between us. The last image I was in a viewing platform above the water looking across and down at the gator. But I still needed to shoot a panorama of the gator.

    • Not my favorite either when we are walking trails in Florida and South Carolina! At one place the Beware of Alligators Sign had another sign that suggested that if they bothered you just hit them in the nose! I always thought that would make them mad! Lake Woodruff NWR in Florida is just trails around water areas so you frequently see them close by.

    • Thanks Belinda! Not my favorite photo subjects! But there are quite a few at some of our favorite photo spots down South. So you often photograph them just because they are there!

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