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The project was to shoot an environment, plain and simple. The goal was to create a good composition as it already exists naturally, and capture it. This is a useful skill especially for design compositions, and photographing for magazines or ads.
Instead of shooting an empty environment, I decided to focus on texture not only in the background, but in the subject I decided to place in the scene. The contrast of shiny scales of the snake and the dull matte of the bark and surrounding forest and the bold colors all help to create a dramatic and serene image.
My end result was well-received and overall executed quite well. I've been applying similar techniques to other wildlife photos, as well as general animal photography and scenery. I have gotten a few private client requests for similar photography for either their pets or for private ads, so I'd say it is quite effective both emotionally and compositionally.