It seems like such a simple task - pulling out a camera, pointing, and shooting, but laziness is a devout polygamist and married to any number of excuses. The light is wrong. I don't want to get my camera wet. It'll be gone by the time I'm ready to shoot. The camera will just be a burden to bring along. My brand of indolence tends to walk hand in hand with familiar places. Once I've made a substantial portfolio of a particular location, I become increasingly picky as to what I will shoot. This blatant hubris never seemed so clear to me until last week when a friend, Garl Harrold, called to report he found a juvenile southeastern five-lined skink and would hold on to it so I could take pictures. I stammered on the phone, trying to be polite while dropping subtle clues that he shouldn't have gone through the trouble for something so common as a skink. "No really, Garl, you shouldn't have gone through the trouble..."
When I came into work the next morning, a water bottle containing a small lizard was sitting on my desk with a note from Garl. It sat there for half the morning haunting me, whispering to me, now you owe it to him, Mac. As we all know, guilt is a formidable force. Even laziness, with its posse of vindications, is no match for a guilty conscience. With heavy steps I carried the skink down to the lab and the gears started to turn. Suddenly, I had an assignment. Placing it on a piece of porcelain I used a strobe to blow out the background and hold fast to color. During the ten minutes of trying to keep the wiggling reptile on the porcelain, the once burden became a challenge, and the common skink evolved into an other-worldly creature. So excited by the outcome, I immediately rushed home to upload the image onto my computer.
I owe it to Garl for rekindling my artistic wonderment of nature, which is the whole reason I started photography. Now, the first thought isn't "is it worth it?" Instead, it's, "will this be fun?"
A Southeastern Five-lined Skink (Eumeces inexpectatus) shot in various positions on porcelain
and merged into one frame.