On the cover
Juan Faidley made “Emerald Tree Serpent” at Baltimore’s National Aquarium. After a couple of hours taking quick snapshots of various creatures, trying not to hog prime spectator space, Faidley could see he was failing. “I decided to slow down, put my camera on full manual mode and really concentrate on my craft,” he says. “I was rewarded when I noticed a green python from across the room. I swear it winked at me.” He spent five full minutes working different exposures and angles to get what he wanted. “The python was obliging and much more patient than the tourists silently expressing their displeasure of me commandeering this section of glass.” Nuajé Visions Photography is based in Baltimore and specializes in commercial portraiture, interior/exterior, and hospitality photography.
CAMERA & LENS: Fujifilm X100S, built-in Fujinon 23mm f/2.0 lens
EXPOSURE: 1/250 second at f/5.6, ISO 6400
LIGHTING: Available light
POST-CAPTURE: He used Lightroom CC to create a color palette that accentuated the green tones, and Nik Color Efex Pro’s tonal contrast to bring out the texture of the snake’s skin. He dodged and burned in Photoshop CC to reshape the light to draw the viewer to the serpent’s eye and let the background fall off into shadow. Cloning helped create more in-focus scales toward the subject’s nose. Back in Lightroom, Faidley used the adjustment brush to decrease sharpness away from the serpent’s head. A vignette completes the image.