Snake. One creature that mostly all of us are afraid of. But what we fail to notice is their undeniable beauty.
His book is a collection of beautifully lit yet deadly snake against a black background, in order to best bring out the stunning colors and textures of these deadly snakes. And while it may be of great interest to snake lovers and herpetologists alike, Mark insists the work is to be viewed as art.
“My intention was to explore color, shape, and movement, using snakes as a subject, but of course herpetologists will probably enjoy these photographs of all the deadly snake as well,” he told Wired.
Mark selected few beautiful yet deadly snake for his photoshoot and one among them was a black mamba. If you don’t know then let me tell you, a black mamba is a highly aggressive and venomous snake from the African continent. Despite safety precautions during the photo shoot, an accident occurred while the owner went to retrieve the snake with a hook. The hook instead snagged a red photographic cable that was nearby; this spooked the snake who attacked the photographer’s leg.
As soon as the photographer got bitten by the black mamba blood began to gush from the wound. “Oh f**k,” was his initial reaction, according to an interview with Strange Behaviors.
The venom gland of the snake wasn’t removed and so it was extremely dangerous the photographer did not go to the hospital for anti-venom. This was an extremely risky thing to do and it goes against expert advice.
But the photographer was indeed lucky because the snake either gave him a ‘dry bite’, in which the snake chose not to inject venom or the venom was immediately pushed out by the heavy bleeding from the bite.
It must’ve been a nervous time in the aftermath, however, not knowing for sure if any venom had entered his system. “It hurt like hell that night,” Mark Laita recalled. “It was like being stuck with a couple of push pins.”
Later when Mark looked at his incredible pictures of these deadly snakes he captured during his photoshoot he was astonished to find that he had captured a snap of the precise moment of the bite, which you can see below.
This led to accusations of a set-up to publicize his book, fuelled by a misreported story in the Daily Mail. Mark said that this was not what he wanted, he wanted people to talk about his book and the beauty these snakes posses and not about the time he was bitten. He said, “The whole thing is stupid, and it makes me look like a reckless jackass, which I’m not.”
It a miracle if you survive even after getting bitten by a snake like a black mamba. Mark’s case even gets a mention on the black mamba’s Wikipedia page.
The whole episode makes for an incredible story and yes, the black mamba that could’ve killed the author did indeed make it into the book.