Daily Dose 2
“Roadside micro dragon” by Hardy Fiebig
Coming from a photo shooting of Lake Bogoria in Baringo County, we rolled on a quiet road back to Marigat. Suddenly, a green dot in the middle of the tarmac caught our attention, which proved to be a chameleon slowly crossing from one side to the other. Good for us, that the elaborate camouflage of the reptile failed on the dark surface, since tracking it from a driving car in the foliage at the road banks would have been merely impossible.
In several African cultures, chameleons are understood to be messengers of evil or mishap. In Ruanda, children once screamed at me in terror when I picked up a chameleon to inspect it more closely. They assured me that touching it would infect me with leprosy.
Though I am still very much ok until today, chameleons surely do have a very alien, literally not-from-this-planet appearance that may be frightening. The claws, the two independently moving eyeballs, the coiled-up tail and long explosive tongue give it the look of a little dragon stemming from a different world, a different time.
Seen with the photographer’s eye, chameleons simply make up for a rewarding motif. And so we stopped to help the little fellow to get over the road and avoid its very own misfortune, but also – I have to admit – for the selfish intention of framing a beautiful shot of it. It proved to be rather challenging, for as soon as the reptile sat on a branch, its colour would start to play until smelting with the surrounding.
By choosing a small f-stop number which reduced the range of focus and turned the backdrop into a blurred green screen, I managed to distinguish the animal and guide the viewer’s eye to the essential: the pronounced scales of the skin, the freaky head shape and the zigzagged throat and spine lines of the “roadside micro dragon”. The yellow flowers add the much needed contrast in an otherwise uni-coloured frame, completing the composition.
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