Behind the lens: Lizard daze

[words and photographs © Narina Exelby]

Sometimes your days don’t work out as you’d planned – and they become better for it. Last week I was staying in a very quiet beachfront villa on Praslin, the second-largest island in Seychelles, and was going to spend the day on my veranda, writing. Instead, for the first time ever, I became a lizard stalker.

About 10 minutes into my feature, I noticed a green lizard basking on one of the palms, his skin radiant against the smooth yellow of the tree. I ran inside, fumbled to change lenses, and managed to shoot him – one eye just catching the light – before he scuttled off. And so I was hooked. Every 15 minutes at least, I wandered around the palms, looking up, searching, waiting for the little critters to come out of hiding.

The day became a lesson in patience; in thinking about composition; variety; colour; in watching the breeze, and how the light moved; noticing lines, textures, and thin strands leaves so fine you’d usually not see them, but which have the potential to ruin an image if you’re not careful. That day was also a reminder of how valuable it can be to sit a while, to learn to work with within boundaries, and to find ways to give variety to something that at first glance can be almost ordinary.

Interested in photographing animals? Take a look at these valuable tips from guide and pro wildlife photographer, Dale Morris. For more stories behind photos, please click here.

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