The Photographer Who Was Bitten By A Black Mamba… And Got The Shot
American professional photographer Mark Laita is not a snake owner or enthusiast but his admiration of snakes’ textures and formal qualities rivals that of any herpetologist. It’s an admiration that is on display in his book, “Serpentine”. The book is a collection of gorgeously lit snakes against a black backdrop.
“My intention was to explore color, shape and movement, using snakes as a subject, but of course herpetologists will probably enjoy these photographs as well,” says Laita, a Los Angeles photographer known for his stunning studio compositions.
According to Wikipedia, Mark Laita was bitten on the leg by a black mamba during a photo-shoot of a black mamba at a facility in Central America. The bite ruptured an artery in his calf, which bled profusely. Laita did not go to the doctor or the hospital, and except for the swollen fang marks giving him intense pain during the night, he was not affected and was fine physically.
This led him to believe that either the snake gave him a “dry bite” (a bite without injecting venom) or the heavy bleeding pushed the venom out. Some commenters on the story suggested that it was a venomoid snake (in which the venom glands are surgically removed), but Laita responded that it was not. Only later did Laita find that he had captured the snake biting his leg in a photograph.
Ophiophagus hannah, commonly called the king cobra
Calliophis bivirgatus, commonly called the Blue Malaysian coral snake
Crotalus atrox (albino), commonly called the western diamondback rattlesnake
Trimeresurus vogeli, commonly called Vogel’s pit viper, playing dead
Crotalus scutulatus, commonly called the Mojave rattlesnake, with babies
Trimeresurus trigonocephalus, commonly called the Sri Lankan palm viper
Pseudonaja textilis, commonly called the eastern brown snak
Lampropeltis getula nigrita, commonly called the Mexican black king snake
Bothrops alternatus, commonly called Urutu
Cielia Cielia, commonly called Mussarana
Trimeresurus venustus, commonly called the beautiful pit viper
Boa constrictor constrictor, commonly called the red-tailed boa
Bitis nasicornis, commonly called the rhinoceros viper