The historic gold mining town of Rhyolite is a few miles west of the town of Beatty, Nevada, about 2.5 hours north of Las Vegas, Nevada.
This image was captured at 200m, 1/100th of a second at f/16, ISO 200. a circular polarizer was used to cut glare off their scales, for maximum color.
No snakes were disturbed while capturing this image. They never moved when I first took a photo with my mobile phone, or after I returned with a DSLR and appropriate lens.
These two rattlesnakes were found under a rusty piece of tin roofing near the historic mining site of Rhyolite, Nevada. Simply lifting random pieces of metal in the desert is not recommended. I suspected that snakes might be hiding under it, so I grabbed the metal where my finger wouldn't stick down and resemble the heat profile of a mouse. I stood far enough back to avoid a possible strike. Finding two rattlesnakes was a nice surprise!
Rattlesnakes tend to be very difficult to see even in broad daylight. After alost stpping on a sidewinder at night in Death Valley, now when shooting in the ares that they inhabit at night, I always use a white light to best see them and reduce the odds of getting bitten.