We are the first to admit that snakes in the wild and snakes in a controlled setting like a zoo, or through the lens of a talented photographer are two entirely different experiences. We certainly don’t love snakes in the way some people have them as pets. But we do recognize their undeniable beauty and mystique, especially when Italian photographer Guido Mocafico is involved. For his book Serpens, published several years ago, Mocafico captured a variety of snakes, including vipers and cobras, in these stunning photos. We have always found the vivid colors, remarkable patterns and graceful movements of these creatures beautiful and creatively inspiring. Mocafico shares a similar sentiment: “I have always been terrified by these reptiles, but I also find them terribly fascinating. I felt a sort of repulsion-attraction for these living creatures…. If I had to define beauty, I’d say it has to contain an element of darkness or danger.”

Via guidomocafico.com and hamiltonsgallery.com

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