Cara Crumbliss Photography- Chicago Family Photographer- Where I Went Wed: Rattlesnakes!

June 04, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Let me warn you up front that some of these images may not be suitable for all audiences!  

A few months back, my niece Cady invited me to visit her in Oklahoma for the Rattle Snake Roundup.  Generally speaking, I have a real hard time saying no to her, and this was no exception.  So I booked a flight and awaited the adventure. 

Nothing- NOTHING- could have prepared me for the Rattle Snake Roundup.  Billions of snakes- alive, dead, being butchered, being displayed.  Rattlesnakes EVERYWHERE!  This is the stuff that makes up my nightmares.  

I had the great pleasure of watching the Butcher Show.   This is where they take one lucky rattlesnake, butcher it by chopping off its head, and then proceed to skin it and harvest the gall bladder and heart.  Headless snakes are no less scary that living snakes.  They continue to squirm and even strike for hours.  Most distressing- the heart continues to beat, on display for the lucky audience, for the entire show.  

 

Now, as part of the show, the heart is offered up to the audience for some sucker to eat.  Raw.  Bloody.  Beating.  
Having been to the show several times before, my 8 year old nephew knew it was coming.  In the weeks leading up, he setup a bet with his Papa-  $100 bucks to eat the heart.  Knowing her son, my sister added in another $100 bucks, being certain he would back out at the last minute. 
When the time came in the show for a volunteer to eat the heart, Gunner jumped up excitedly, ran down, and without a thought, took that beating heart down whole!
That'll be $200!  Pay up, Mama and Papa!  
 
Photography
All the above photos were taken indoors in very low light.  Flashes weren't allowed inside- maybe they scare the snakes?  Either way, to be able to shoot, I did the 3 things I talk about over and over… adjusted ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed to the optimal low light settings.  I bumped my ISO up to 1600.  While there is a teeny bit of grain associated with this high ISO, it allows for low light shooting, and can be smoothed out in post-processing.  I opened the aperture to f/2.8, which allows in more light.  With those two settings, I was able to get the shutter speed to 1/100, which is fast enough to stop action and prevent motion blur.  

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