I had a very enjoyable couple of hours photographing adders last week. This is the perfect time of year for photographing reptiles because there’s just enough heat in the sun to draw them out of hibernation.
Once the adders are on the move there are two things on their mind, warming up and finding a mate. The best time to look for adders to photograph is on a warm early spring morning. They will lay out in the sun warming their bodies and building up their energy, like recharging a battery. This means they quite often stay still in one place for quite some time giving us photographers plenty of time to photograph our chosen subject.
When adders start moving they are quick and very agile. It’s important to keep the cameras auto focus point on the snakes eye if possible and make sure you have enough depth of field to keep the adder’s head in focus.
I normally shoot in manual exposure mode but aperture priority is fine as long as you make sure the shutter speed is fast enough to freeze any movement. You could of course also use shutter priority. Keep an eye on the exposure histogram so you can be confident that the images you shoot are well exposed.
Once the technical side of the shoot has been sorted out look for nice compositions with the adder’s body creating curves and coils in the background. Above all else enjoy the photography, adders make fantastic subjects I don’t think you will be disappointed.