Serpentine: Beautiful Portraits of the World’s Most Deadly Snakes

Serpentine: Beautiful Portraits of the Worlds Most Deadly Snakes travel snakes documentary biology animals

Serpentine: Beautiful Portraits of the Worlds Most Deadly Snakes travel snakes documentary biology animals

Serpentine: Beautiful Portraits of the Worlds Most Deadly Snakes travel snakes documentary biology animals

Serpentine: Beautiful Portraits of the Worlds Most Deadly Snakes travel snakes documentary biology animals

Serpentine: Beautiful Portraits of the Worlds Most Deadly Snakes travel snakes documentary biology animals

Serpentine: Beautiful Portraits of the Worlds Most Deadly Snakes travel snakes documentary biology animals

For the past year LA-based photographer Mark Laita has been traveling to various locations around the U.S. and Central America photographing some of the world’s most deadliest snakes, a series entitled Serpentine. Of the project he says:

The sensual attractiveness of snakes, which coexists with their threatening, unpredictable and mysterious nature is truly unique. This dichotomy, in which their beauty seems to be heightened by their danger, and vice-versa, is what I find so fascinating. Add to these contradictions the rich symbolism of serpents and you have a wonderfully compelling subject.

Laita works with collectors, breeders, zoos, and even anti-venom labs who let him photograph their snake collections. But as you can imagine snake handling can be dangerous work. Just last week on a photo shoot in Costa Rica, he tangoed with a Black Mambo (last photo), the longest venomous snake in Africa that can grow up to 14 feet long. So what kind of risk did you take at work today?

See also his beautiful if somewhat heartbreaking catalog of ornithological specimens entitled Amaranthine, and some exquisite images of sea life. All images courtesy the artist. (via feature shoot)