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  #1  
Old 06-11-2014, 05:05 PM
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scott_clark scott_clark is offline
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Default Handling and Posing Reptiles & Amphibians

I've seen a lot of very nice pictures lately showing reptiles and amphibians in their habitats. I'm guessing (and only guessing) that, to get the animals into clear view within a good composition, the photographers are moving or posing the animals in some cases.

I can see why this helps, since a salamander under a leaf won't show in the picture. But I haven't seen a lot of discussion of whether or not this kind of handling/posing is appropriate. On the one hand, I'm concerned about stressing or injuring the animals, and tend to play it safe. On the other hand, I don't want to completely avoid something if there are situations in which it is safe for the animals.

Does anybody have any thoughts on if (or when) it's appropriate to handle a reptile or amphibian in order to photograph it?

[edit] I think I put this in the wrong forum; sorry about that. If anyone can move it, I'd appreciate it.
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Last edited by scott_clark; 06-11-2014 at 05:07 PM. Reason: wrong sub-forum
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:50 AM
ericbowles ericbowles is offline
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Hi Scott

I see both reptiles/amphibians in natural settings as well as captive. I think if they are captured for a photograph - even if just for a few moments, disclosure is required that it is a captive subject.

I certainly see images of reptiles and amphibians that have been moved into locations that are easier to photograph. Generally common sense is required - and it may be subject specific. I want to handle the animal as little as possible unless it is acclimated to being handled. I don't want the subject to be stressed. Movements need to be slow and non-threatening. And I want to return the subject to a natural habitat as soon as possible.

If you do need to handle a subject, one approach that works well is to use a small Styrofoam cooler with a few punctures in the top as vent holes. This helps the subject to maintain an even temperature and humidity - especially on a warm day. A damp towel or sponge in the bottom can help maintain humidity.
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  #3  
Old 07-19-2014, 07:20 PM
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Thanks, Eric. I'm not really planning to handle the amphibians, but I appreciate your thoughts. I'm just trying to get an idea of what people do, and if the pictures I see of skittish small animals are more often posed, or just the result of impressive stealth. :-)
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