Blue Coral Snake or Malayan Coral snake (Calliophis bivirgatusta) Singapore near Terentang Trail (near HSBC TreeTop Walk, Singapore Island Club, MacRitchie Reservoir)
It had been a very dry month. Anna, Tang and I met Alan Ow Yong along Terentang trail (near the junction to the HSBC TreeTop Walk). Tang who is a “spiderman” has the tendency to bend forward to look for spiders at the waist level and Alan who is a “birdman” has a binocular around his neck. As for myself, a nature photographer tends to look for movements and colors in the forest. While we were chitchatting, I saw something colorful on the forest floor between Alan and Tang. For a split second, I said to myself “Blue Coral Snake“ and then on second thoughts “It can’t be, must be someone’s belt left in the forest” about 2 m away from us.
Then, it moved! A Blue Coral Snake indeed, one of the most venomous snake in Singapore. It slithered in between the dry foliage. We all turned to the snake with our cameras. What a sight. Probably the longest Blue Coral snakes we have all ever saw. A good 1.5m or longer.
How I photographed the Blue Coral Snake or Malayan Coral Snake:
- I used a 70-300mm zoom. I took off the macro adapter which allowed me to go closer but I did not want to get too close to the snake. The longer zoom allow me to stay far away from the snake with a safety distance. I wanted to capture the full length of the snake so I zoomed out. I probably set the camera shooting mode to Manual, 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO about 1000.
- I set the flash on TTL with no exposure compensation. The flash helped to freeze any movements from the snake and my hand shake. It also helps to fill-in the light on the dark forest floor.
- If you have image stabilised, turn it on.
Be Careful of Blue Coral Snake :
Joggers ,hikers and photographers, be careful when walking along the trail near the forest. When you come across one, don’t panic. Do not touch or get close to the snake. The Blue Coral snake is one of the most poisonous snakes in Singapore.