The Galapagos Islands are a renowned nature photography destination as most of their wildlife is unique and relatively fearless of man. A specific objective of this, my second visit, was to photograph the archipeligo's famous Giant Tortoises in the wild. I found this huge male in the highland forests of Santa Cruz Island. By mid-morning, the weather was overcast which was ideal as it avoided harsh shadows and unwanted highlights on the animal or the background. In order to get sufficient depth of field I needed f/11, which required ISO 1600 and gave me a shutter speed of just 1/60th of a second, presenting a challenge to get a sharp image of a moving subject. In order to get an eye-level shot and emphasise his size, I lay down on the ground ahead of the route he was taking and waited for him to lumber up to my lens. By the time he was close enough to notice me and his gait paused, enabling me to make the image, I could smell his breath, rich in tropical fruits he had been munching in the forest.
F/11, 1/60th second, ISO 1600
Accepted: Midland 2014, Carpathian Drag (Ukraine) 2014