23 March 2014

Forest gecko

Being nocturnal, New Zealand forest geckos (Hoplodactylus granulatus) aren't often seen by humans — a shame, because they're among the most beautiful animals I know. I've seen them only a few times, but I don't want to tear apart the old logs and other habitats in which they hide away during the day. So, when I saw captive geckos in the Environment Network Manawatu display at last Saturday's Festival of Cultures, I spoke with their keeper, who generously offered to open the doors of the cage so I didn't have to photograph through the glass. In the low light I'd have liked to use the flash, but was reluctant in case it disturbed the geckos (it probably wouldn't have, but I didn't want to take the risk). Despite the consequently small depth of focus, this gives some idea of how gorgeous these small lizards are.

[If you haven't found it yet, you might like to visit Pohanginapete to read the new post published today]

[22 March 2014, Olympus OM-D EM-1, 60mm f/2.8 macro , ISO 400, 1/50 at f/2.8]

All content © 2014 Pete McGregor


Elephant's Child said...

They are enchanting - and their camoflague looks superb too. A lichen covered rock - with eyes.
Thank you - and how nice of the keeper.

Relatively Retiring said...

What beautiful detail you have captured (don't like that word) in the head and eyes.

pohanginapete said...

EC, apparently they can change colour to resemble the background. The other gecko in the cage was distinctly browner than this.

RR, thank you, and I share your dislike of the word 'capture' instead of 'photograph'. Here, though, I think you've used it appropriately.

Zhoen said...

"Heyyyyy bayyybeee!" Wowza, what a charmer. All the lady geckos swoon.

I like the shallow focus, brings out the eyes.

pohanginapete said...

Thanks Zhoen — that made me laugh out loud. Nice one.

butuki said...

I've always wondered how the "hard eyes" (hawks, cheetahs, wolves, praying mantises, and here the gecko) of predators have this immensely "cool!" effect when we see them. And I wonder if a human has it, if that makes them more attractive?

I try to imagine you going about your daily life, Pete. I don't think I know of anyone who's daily routine is more deliberate and in tune with what they want out of life. Or at least it jives closely with how I want to live.

I imagined your excitement as you talked with the gecko keeper and then the cage door squeaking open, and you kneeling to focus the camera, your head full of possible compositions. And the gecko's head twitching to this angle as it eyed you, intensely curious.

pohanginapete said...

Miguel, thanks for that great comment :^) I think I'm very lucky to have the freedom to at least try to live like that. It's hard won, though, and I'm not sure I'd manage it — at least not as satisfactorily — if I had the kinds of constraints some of my friends have.