Suter’s skink photos

Suter's skink
A Suter’s skink on a shingle beach at night. Taken with a Canon 1D Mark IV, EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM, MT24EX and 550EX speedlites, 1/250 s at f13, ISO 100.

The last of the lizards I photographed on Burgess Island are now online. Check out the new Suter’s skink album. Suter’s skink are one of our nocturnal lizards, and like most of our native reptiles they can be abundant on pest free islands. They differ from all of our other native lizards though in one special way though; they lay eggs (all others give birth to live young). Because of this important difference they are sometimes called the egg-laying skink

My favourite gear for photographing macro and close-up subjects like lizards at night is the Canon 100 mm macro lens with the MT-24EX “Macro Twin Lite”. It’s light, portable, and allows good control of the light (there’s a self portrait of me using this set-up in the back of the issue 110 of New Zealand Geographic). For even greater control and more dynamic lighting I’ll often slave a second (or third) flash. This is easy to do with the wireless communication (infrared) built into these flash units, but radio triggers are even better because they don’t need clear line of sight. The Phottix Strato II trigger set I got from works great for this sort of thing.