I have photographed hundreds of animals but the animal portraits in this page have a special place in my photographical heart. I had observed them closely, from different angles and spent intimate moments with them. I have studied them as individual personalities not just as creatures or life forms and boy, they had character!
I think patience is the #1 virtue when it comes to nature photography. I spent hours waiting, observing, analyzing and shooting. I would have shot tens of hundreds of photos and rejected them before the proverbial eureka moment of a good composure or a suitable camera setting for the scene. I am an improviser, not starting off with assumptions or fixed ideas. As I shoot, I improvise. Typically the photos start looking good by the 5th or 6th picture. In the case of the snail, it was perhaps the 50th picture that gave me the results that I was content with. (After I changed lenses, increased the exposure, turned off the flash, lay flat on my stomach and brought the camera in level with the snail).
Invariably they figure prominently in my cherished photo collections. Don’t forget to read the story these portraits tell in the comments to the photos.