I decided to take a photo of all 5 reptiles that we have, as I thought it’d be interesting to see their size differences. I accomplished this photo with the help of Photoshop, as it would be irresponsible to put such smaller geckos next to Babadook, and who knows what psycho Zeus would do. I shot each reptile separately, spending no more than a few minutes with each one to minimize stress. The grapevine was stabilized with the use of fishing line. My camera was on a tripod to keep everything consistent and easy for compositing in Photoshop.
OUTTAKES & PROCESS
When I do these types of photos, I always start with the easiest reptile first, and work my way through to the hardest. Babadook is practically like a dog, incredibly docile and just chill. I knew he’d be the ‘centerpiece’ and really just needed to get him to turn his head away so that we’d see his crest rather than just his fat cheeks and look of fatherly disapproval. This piece of grapevine is from Zeus’s enclosure, which is why there are pieces of white poo that I took out of the final image. You’ll also be able to see some of the fishing line that was also removed from the final image.
Loki was next, he is super chill as well but not as good at just staying in one spot like Babadook does. I didn’t exactly know where I was going to place all the other reptiles, so this was one of 3 positions I put Loki in. I felt for the final image he was best placed in the lower left where he was naturally lifting his head up, as it helped separate him from the background and wood. He was also going through a shed so his colors were a bit muted. Sharon picked out Loki last summer at a reptile show near Los Angeles. He is around 8 months old in this photo.
Snow was the other leopard gecko that Sharon picked out at the reptile show. She came from a dedicated leopard gecko breeder, yet she is far more hostile and rarely comes out of her hides. I had to be quick with her as I shot these in the middle of the day, and she especially did not like being out in the light during her sleeping time.
Argus was named by a good friend who is well versed in all sorts of mythologies. I had Sharon keep her finger on the shutter ready to click it as soon as I moved my hand, as Argus is insanely fast, and with his ability to climb walls, he could easily end up on our 12ft high ceiling like he had once before. It was not a fun night as the one time he escaped was when he was just a month old, and very tiny and fragile. Probably the only time I’ll get a lizard shortly after it’s birth, I don’t like dealing with little things or feeding them tiny insects.