Savuti Marsh, Botswana

Pop quiz. In the things they never taught you in photo school department…

An eight-foot long, highly agitated python hides under your truck. What do you do?

I think it’s safe to say that prodding it with a tripod leg until it emerges enraged, and promptly setting off after it with a macro lens to shoot a portrait is not on everyone’s short list of bright ideas.

And that was assuming that my guidebook was right, and the python would only bit me with his numerous sharp teeth, then coil around me, working toward my eventual suffocation. As opposed to something truly unpleasant.

We danced back and forth for a while before he broke cover and darted for the thick brush. On the way past, he struck once, hard, at my tire, leaving two little fang marks on the dusty sidewall.

Photographed in Chobe National Park on June 7, 2000 with a Canon EOS-1 camera and 500mm f/4.5 Lens on Fujichrome Velvia slide film.

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