Facing down Mama Gator….
To photograph the picture for Alligator Swarm I had first to face down Mama Gator. I stood on the small watercraft with my camera pointed in her direction, and as she slid through the weeds towards me, I calmly snapped her picture. I don’t know if she experienced that as me blinking, that eye in my camera, or as me shooting in her general direction, but she choose that moment to dive beneath our small craft, to the collective gasps of my mother and my aunt.
Our guide has said Mama Gator had slammed up against the boat before, but this time she simply disappeared beneath the black waters, not to be seen again. This left me free to take pictures of her offspring, who were all about us, as we had literally pulled the boat up into the alligator nest of young hatchlings.
I needed a swarm of alligators….
Since I was writing about the Alligator Swarm experienced by William Bartram in his Travels, I needed a swarm of alligators. However, I was lucky enough to have only my encounter with Mama Gator and not having lived through an actual alligator swarm. Thus I took one of my images of Baby Alligators and created a Possible Perception that imitated a swarm of alligators.
This is the original image of the Baby Alligator. Although this wasn’t the closest picture of a baby alligator I got, I liked that it showed most of the alligator’s body, and I liked the patterns made by the floating vegetation and browning weeds around him. I also liked the blackness of the water revealed by his motion.
This is the Alligator Swarm Possible Perception I created from the original. The black water outlines a center star shape created by the floating vegetation. The baby alligator’s body is almost a deep blue, possibly from being wet and reflecting the sky. The drying weeds create a chain around the star shape that the body of the alligator crosses.