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Grass snake swimming: This is a photograph of complementary textures and form. Grass snakes, with their magnificent camouflage, are usually ridiculously hard to see and even harder to photograph. But here, it is precisely that cryptic coloration, isolated by the darker water, yet echoed by the horsetails, which creates the picture. While photographing deer by the pond, Dr Slater noticed the snake in the water and caught its attention by gently moving his hands. As it came to investigate, he ensured that both reptile and nearby plants were in focus. By using s polarising filter, he was able to see into the water and concentrate on these compositional features as well as on the snake's diagonal contribution to the frame. An opportunistic moment turned into a winning result. Photographer: Dr David l Slater (UK). Runner-up at the BBC Photo Contest 1998