Fun nerdy challenge - Catch a chameleon in action ! High speed photography of a hunt πŸ˜…

in Photography Lovers β€’ 9 months ago

Ever seen a Chameleon hunt with it's long tongue striking at lightning speed?

A Chameleon's tongue moves from 0-60 miles per hour in half a second! That means it can beat a race car.

I managed to click it though - having challenged myself to do it!


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Here is a story of how I took the shot...

I saw it many times, as I stalked a chameleon for 2 days. However, blink of an eye and the tongue strike was over and the prey, a grasshopper or a dragonfly ended up in the mouth. By the time I noticed and pressed the click button, the action was over!! So - a strategy was required!

But wait - let me start at the beginning...

On a wet monsoon evening, I noticed some movement in a tree near the house as I parked my car. A closer look showed this wet chameleon..


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It looked cute and I decided to get some clicks in good light the next day.

This is a glacially slow moving creature - how far would it move in one rainy night - thought I and set out next day morning to click it.

It was a nice sunny day but the chameleon was nowhere to be found! Damn - where could it have gone ... I started searching in widening circles around the tree where it was earlier.

After an hour's search, finally I saw it - right above my head and looking down at me, from a shady branch - with a quizzical expression...


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It caught a bug before I could even lift my camera again and I was hooked! I HAD to get a shot of it in action - the speedy tongue had to be captured in my camera...

Easier said than done!

First of all - this guy seemed to be in no hurry to catch another bug or fly...

He took an hour to move slowly, rocking as he moved each time - to reach a sunny branch and just sat there- basking...


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I got an amazing close up shot but I was not satisfied - where was the tongue!! Well - there was no prey around and this guy was not particularly in search of prey either...

This happy go lucky creature stirred after some time (almost an hour later) and changed direction -


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"Ahh - now it will hunt" - thought I, but it only did some funny yoga stretch kind of poses... It's eyes swirled in 360 degrees (each eye looking in a different direction)


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Patience....

Patience......

Waiting for some more time ....

Waiting even more....

After watching the chameleon doing practically nothing but walk or sit around for more than an hour, I was getting frustrated..

Also - the chameleon had enough of the sun and started moving lower in the tree - into shade. Damn. There goes my chance of seeing it hunt I thought

However, in wildlife photography, I have learnt to believe that 'It is never over till it is actually over' So I stuck on - waiting for my opportunity.

Finally - around 6 hours later from when I started the exercise, the opportunity came A dragonfly landed on a branch near the place where the chameleon was sedately waiting.

The dragonfly seemed to have peaked the chameleon's interest. I noticed the chameleon had locked both it's eyes on the dragonfly. Not keeping an eye on me anymore (literally!! πŸ˜€). It started very very slowly moving towards the dragonfly...

With baited breath, I followed it through my lens. I knew that the strike would be over before I could react if I decided to click AFTER I saw the tongue come out. So - I watched for any signs of the tongue getting ready.

Sure enough - I saw the mouth open a wee bit first. I clicked the shutter at that instant and held it down for a burst of more than a 100 shots.

I had my shutter speed at 1/2000 (due to light conditions, I could not go faster) and in those more than 100 shots, I got ONE shot - this one!


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However, this one shot made my day.

I do not think there are too many wildlife photographers who have this type of a click.

Do you think geeky things like high speed photography are an aid to wildlife photography and ultimately wildlife conservation through spreading awareness? I think so and spent some time on it - Was all the effort worth it? Have you tried something like this? I look forward to suggestions and shared experiences from our expert community members.

Do comment freely and let me know.

Please comment freely and let me know your opinion. I will try to bring many different types of wildlife photos/macro/Astro posts to the community. Feedback and comments are welcome,. I am still learning many techniques and always value feedback from experts in this community.

Have a nice day everyone. Cheers!


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It's the perfect engineering of shutter speed to catch such shots. Simply wonderful. Any photography lover will appreciate such skill.


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Your support for the current HiveBuzz proposal (#199) is much appreciated but the proposal will expire soon!
May we ask you to review and support the new proposal so our team can continue its work?
You can support the new proposal (#248) on Peakd, Ecency, Hive.blog or using HiveSigner.

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