Fix it in photoshop
When you encounter an adder (Vipera berus) in it’s natural environment, you need to take care not to disturb it to get your shot. You can not easily remove a twig or leaf that’s in the wrong spot without risking a bite (adders are venomous), or chasing your subject away.
Adders have a habit of hiding under some heather or brush, to avoid detection. If you were move it to another location to get a better shot, you’ll also get a very unrealistic picture. You would never come across an adder in the open, and your picture would look unnatural.
A Google search of adder pictures will show you that many so-called “nature photographers” are guilty of this.
So what can you do? You don’t want to move the snake, but in the natural setting, there are distracting elements that weaken the picture. This is where Photoshop comes to the rescue.
In the photo above, I’ve removed a few of the more offensive distractions. Probably not more than fifteen minutes work. My main tool was the selection Lasso. I select “Content-ware” Delete (available since Photoshop 5). Then it usually takes only a few minor adjustments for the image to look natural.
Now the head of the adder gets the attention it deserves. After a little work, I’m satified with the resulting photo. A bad photo is transformed into a one I find worth while.
The moral of the story? It’s better cheat with Photoshop than to cheat with Nature. Don’t deceive your viewers by changing the environment and conditions where the the shot was taken.