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Copyright ©2007, Leon Plympton
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This fully mature bull alligator (~10 feet / ~500+ pounds) has reached his prime. He should get longer and heavier in the years to come see previous posting: GATOR HOLE (5), but when it comes to performance (speed and power) he'll never be any more dangerous than he is now, just longer and heavier.

This specimen has staked his claim on a sand bar at La Chua Sink in Paynes Prairie. A harem has gathered in the water behind him. Unfortunately, they can't be seen in this cropped image.

I was able to get reasonably close for this shot using the ZD 40-150, while still maintaining a reasonably safe distance. While I'd like to get closer I'm afraid I'll have to wait until next month for the release of the new ZD 70-300.

This image is SHQ (2560 x 1920), cropped 50% and then re-sized to its posted size (so it would not exceed the 500-kb limit). The 50% crop had minimal negative effect on the image quality; however, the IQ of the final image is diminished quite a bit by the final re-sizing step. Hopefully, within the next month the 50% cropping won't be necessary to enter the danger zone.

Thanks for looking!


Photographer: Leon Plympton
Folder: Common area
Uploaded: 18-Sep-2007 03:48 CEST
Model release available:
Camera: Olympus E1
Exposure time: 1/400
Aperture: f-8
Focal length: 150 (300) mm
Lens: ZD 40-150mm
Focusing method: Spot
ISO: 400
White balance: Auto
Flash: no
Image format: SHQ
Processing applied: Read above; additionally, minimal tweaking - brightness, hue-saturation and sharpness, no noise suppression.
Image resized to: 602x1000

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Gator Hole (8) - re-visited:

Tony -

Yes; they are magnificent - in a Jurassic sort of way.

I give gators this size every bit of 50 feet and maintain eye-to-eye contact. I think it's safe to say that one should never turn their back on a gator, and at the first sign of aggression - be gone - very long gone.

Thanks for looking!


Leon Plympton at 01:50 CEST on 19-Sep-2007 [Reply]

Gator Hole (8) - re-visited:

Rina -

I'm not one to argue; maybe you're right, but I suspect that what you call 'creapy' I call 'primitive'. Regardless, there is a bit of adrenaline that gets flowing, this close -- even though I was at a reasonable and safe distance, making good use of the ZD 40-150; just the same: Would I prefer a longer lens? You betcha!

A 'darn good one'? Thank You, Ma'am!


Leon Plympton at 02:03 CEST on 19-Sep-2007 [Reply]