March 17, 2015
A Frog with Force
- as seen by -Ryan Hawk
Meet the Jabba the Hutt of the animal world, a waxy monkey frog in Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo.
Frogs are usually found in or around a water source so they can keep their skin moist. But this South American frog is unique. It secretes a waxy protectant from its neck, which enables it to spend time in the sunshine. It uses its limbs to spread this “sunscreen” across its back while it takes to the trees to hunt for insects. How it navigates those trees is where the “monkey” part of its name comes in. Rather than hopping, as you might expect a frog to do, this species walks along the branches to get around.
I was able to spend some time photographing this frog on exhibit using a macro lens and an off camera flash. The lighting was diffused by grabbing a sheet of white paper from a nearby printer and taping it in front of the flash to create a makeshift on-location softbox.
The gleam in its eye and slight smirk convey a bit of the frog’s personality.
Nikon D7000, Nikon 105mm lens, Nikon SB600 flash