Nature’s Best Photography: Vine Snake in Choco, Colombia

Robin Moore / Nature’s Best Photography

Slender and arboreal, vine snakes can reach lengths of six-and-a-half feet and range in color from bright green to rusty brown. Slow moving, they depend upon camouflage for protection. Found in the jungles of Central and South America vine snakes blend with the thick vegetation, often appearing to be just another vine.

Photographer’s comments: “I was scrambling through bushes, wading up streams, and looking for anything scaly or slimy in one of the most bio-diverse forests in the world when we came across this vine snake. I was lying on my stomach to frame the shot when, as if on cue, a fly buzzed down and used the snake’s head as a landing pad. As soon as I clicked the shutter, the fly departed. Some photographs come about through careful and diligent planning, but this one was about being in the right place at the right time.” 

Photographic information: Canon 5D Mark II; 100mm ƒ/2.8 lens; UV filter; 1/200 seconds at ƒ/10; ISO 160; 580EX flash off-camera; Lumiquest softbox; hand-held. See more photos at


Each year Nature’s Best Photography magazine hosts the Windland Smith Rice International Awards Exhibition. and and Nature’s Best are sharing some of the 2011 competition results with our readers here in PhotoBlog.

A print exhibition of the winning images and other entries will be displayed from March 30, 2012 to Jan. 6, 2013, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Competition overview: The Nature’s Best Photography concept began with simple yet dynamic goals: to celebrate the beauty and diversity of nature through the art of photography, and to use this far-reaching medium as a creative tool for encouraging greater public interest in outdoor enjoyment and conservation stewardship. The annual Windland Smith Rice International Awards program evolved from this ambitious mission to become one of the most highly-respected and visually compelling nature photography competitions in the world. More than 25,000 entries are received and judged each year in the International Awards. See more in the “Enter Photos” section.

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See some of the 2010 winners of the Windland Smith Rice International Awards Exhibition

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