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Prairie Rattlesnake Video - Crotalus viridis, Grasslands National Park

Canon 7D DSLR and Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L II USM lens - 19 seconds


If you are lucky you will come across one of these amazing snakes in Canada's Grasslands National Park. Some people find them out in the prairie but I have only seen them on the Ecotour road, where they like to lie and warm themselves in the sun. After taking a few still photos I decided to try for a video using my DSLR, not the easiest thing because while the image quality can be very good from these cameras they don't operate like simple point and shoot handycams.


This was a quick set up, utilizing manual exposure and focusing, very tricky with the camera resting on a bean bag on the ground, not affixed to a tripod. It was hard to keep my eye far enough back so I could see the camera's LCD to focus and at the same time to reach forward and adjust the lens by hand. Also, some kind of external mic would have been nice. The 7D's unit is capable but has no buffer against the wind.


Finally, the telephoto lens allowed videoing from a very safe distance; the snake was approximately 3 metres/10 feet away.

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Taken on July 25, 2012