Anatomy of a photo #6: Lizard portrait

Western Fence Lizard (a.k.a. Blue-belly lizard) portrait taken just outside my friend's house

This picture was taken in a friends back yard. There was nothing special about the location, no miles of hiking, no hours of paddling. It was just right there, outside the door. Sometimes you don’t have to go very far for wildlife portraits.

On a more technical note, I did use a very open aperture (small “a” value or small “f-stop”. This is why the background is so blurred out (including the lizard’s tail). The shutter speed was fairly fast, since lizards are prone to very fast, sudden movement. The lighting was natural, but out of direct sunlight so that there wouldn’t be any harsh or deep shadows where detail would be lost. Finally, I tried shooting the lizard more or less head on, instead of from above. This gives the image more of a portrait feel.



About Galen Leeds Photography

Nature and wildlife photographer, exploring the world on his feet and from his kayak. Among other genres, he is one of the leading kayak photographers in Northern California. To learn more about him, visit him on his website-
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