Monday, July 4, 2011

Underwater amphibian photography

One of the member of our frog conservation team, Danté Fenolio, is also quite a photography enthusiast.

Cryptobranchus, the Hellbender

Sternotherus minor, Loggerhead musk turtle

Necturus, the Mudpuppy
Recently, he has acquired some underwater photography equipment and what better way to test it out than to try and get photographs of the elusive Hellbender. Hellbenders are notoriously difficult to photograph due to their large size and secretive habits, preferring to live under large, relatively un-liftable rocks along fast flowing river bottoms. Photographing Hellbenders is also at minimum a two person job. One to lift the aforementioned huge rocks and one to stand ready for taking photos. Then there is the problem of how to remain still enough to take a photograph while the river's current is naturally trying to drag you downstream.

Obviously, this requires great dedication and skill—but as you can see from the photos, quite worth it!