And being that close to the animals, I get a real sense of intimate connection to them, to that specific animal in front of me. I love the feeling, want the feeling, that they're almost presenting themselves for a studio portrait.
Aside from using certain absurdly impractical techniques, I do one thing that I believe makes a big difference: I get very, very close to the animals. I don't use telephoto lenses, as I want to see as much of the sky and landscape as possible to see the animals within the context of their environment. That way, the photos become about the atmosphere of the place as well as the animals.
Very few photographers have ever really considered the photography of wildlife, as distinctly opposed to the genre of Wildlife Photography, as an art form. The emphasis has generally been on capturing the drama of wild animals IN ACTION, or capturing that dramatic single MOMENT, as opposed to simply animals in the state of BEING. I've always thought this something of a wasted opportunity.