Tripod holes, part 1

Wow, time for a new weekly topic already? I was just getting used to the old one…

‘Tripod holes’ is a semi-obscure photographer’s term, referring to locations that are so popular, you can use the same holes that other photographers have used to put your tripod feet within. This isn’t quite the same thing, but close; this year, we’re going to take virtual trips out to the locales of some of my favorite, or distinctive, or perhaps just stumbled across, images from times past – and maybe not even all that past, but I have to at least unload the memory cards so it almost certainly won’t be while I’m right there; that’s social media horseshit, and we all know how lame that is. Suffice to say though, that if you run right out to the locations the moment you see a new post, chances are you won’t find me there.

To assist with this (providing the locations, I mean,) there will be links to Google Earth Placemarks right in the posts, along with the latitude/longitude coordinates; if you have Google Earth installed on your computer, clicking the link should take you right there (though at the moment I’m having issues and this may be removed in later posts,) and if not, you can still get there by popping those coordinates into the mapping service of your choice. And I mean right there, because I try to be accurate and it should place you within a few meters of my precise shooting position. Exciting, isn’t it? There should be plaques…

So, our first, definitely one of my favorites:

high-contrast head shot of American alligator Alligator mississippiensis in water of Savannah National wildlife Refuge
N 32.154375° W 81.089437° Google Earth

It’s cheating a little, because this appears in the main gallery and even has the placemark therein, but I really like the shot, so there. This was taken within Savannah National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina, right across the Savannah River from the city of Savannah, Georgia, which I only mention because there are no nearby towns in South Carolina to refer to. It is of course an American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis,) nowhere near as imposing as it appears here, though it’s often not hard to find a much larger one there. Initial frames were about 75° off this angle on the opposite side, using the sunlight more, but this side created better contrast, shadows, and color from the water. I mean, it’s not exactly an accomplishment to make a gator appear menacing – it’d be much more skillful to make them not – but this one just seems to lurk in the shadows while in bright sunlight, I think mostly because of the eyes. Plus those textures, of course. Yes, I’d keep a gator as a pet if I thought I could swing it in the slightest, both practically and ethically, and I have to note that friends of ours actually had one show up in their pond and they removed it. Put a strain on our friendship, I can tell you…

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