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Photo Information
Copyright: clint newsham (clint) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 39 W: 0 N: 237] (1371)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006
Categories: Molluscs
Camera: Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D, Sigma 105 F2.8 Macro.
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/500 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): !Slugfest, Pankaj Bajpai's Favorite Part 2 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-01-06 17:20
Viewed: 7532
Favorites: 5 [view]
Points: 56
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Common snail, garden snail
Helix aspersa
Because of their moist skin, common snails are most active in damp weather and at night.

Physical Description
Common snails have pale grey moist skin. At the front end are four tentacles, the shorter two are for feeling and the longer pair are eye stalks. The shell of these snails is light brown with darker brown bands following the spiral of the shell. The shell colouration varies in its intensity from pale yellow to almost black.

They are herbivores and feed on decaying vegetation, algae, fungi, lichens and plant leaves. As a part of their herbivorous diet they often feed on garden plants and are considered by some to be pests. Common snails have a symbiotic bacteria in their crop that enables them to digest cellulose - they have been known to feed on damp paper and cardboard.

Because of their moist skin, common snails are most active in damp weather and at night. When conditions become too dry, the snail will retreat into its shell and seal the entrance with a parchment-like barrier known as an epiphragm. Snails can often be found in this state under rocks in gardens or on a wall in a sheltered corner. When sealed away like this the snail goes into a state of suspended animation and can survive for several months without water.

Common snails feed by scraping a ribbon-like tongue covered in horny teeth called a radula, over their food. This allows them to scrape algae and lichen from the surface of rocks and walls. You can sometimes see the trails they leave behind as they eat their way through the algae on a damp wall.

Common snails, like all land snails, are hermaphrodites. This means that they possess both male and female reproductive organs. Despite this they still need to find another snail to mate with. When two snails meet during the breeding season (late spring or early summer), mating is initiated by one snail piercing the skin of the other snail with a calcified 'love dart'. The exact purpose of the 'love dart' is not fully understood but it seems to stimulate the other snail into exchanging small packets of sperm. After mating is complete the snails will produce eggs internally, which are fertilised by the sperm that has been exchanged.

Up to about a month after mating the snail lays about a hundred small white eggs in a nest underground in damp soil. If the conditions remain suitable for the eggs, snails will begin to hatch after about 14 days. Newly hatched snails have a small fragile shell and it takes two years for them to reach maturity.

this is another capture from the back garden similar to my last upload of the ladybird.
many thanks for all your comments on the ladybird shot, i entered that shot into a competition and found out today that i won first prize of the new sigma 70mm macro lens, looking forward to testing it out in the spring.

whjb, Tamrock, lgfoto, uduputuk, erika_hersh, mirceax, uleko, extramundi, ramthakur, smash2707, Hil, coasties, RAP, Shoot_Score has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Lovely Comp. I wonder where the snail is going to go after it reaches the top. Nice green background really makes the snail pop

  • Great 
  • whjb Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 51 W: 26 N: 172] (683)
  • [2007-01-06 17:28]
  • [2]

Hi Clint,

Very well done. Good DOF and excellent sharpness and exposure. Interesting BG.


  • Great 
  • odin Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 177 W: 1 N: 209] (1169)
  • [2007-01-06 17:49]
  • [2]

Very nice shot Clint, I love'it. Everything is perfect. Sébastien

  • Great 
  • Evelynn Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2025 W: 741 N: 3285] (14454)
  • [2007-01-06 18:18]
  • [2]

Wow! Congratulations! You deserve the prize. Is the green the actual OOF background or something you added? I like the vignetting effect you used here. It is another wonderful photograph. More art than science.

Thanks for sharing

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • Tamrock Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 337 W: 0 N: 290] (1928)
  • [2007-01-06 18:24]
  • [2]

hi clint!
this is perfect in my eyes in all ways

  • Great 
  • lgfoto Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 194 W: 13 N: 279] (1536)
  • [2007-01-06 18:37]

This is absolutely great shot Clint. I like the original composition and very professional finishing.TFS.

Beautiful minimalism, Clint. Great beauty can be found in simplicity. This is a perfect example.

Tfs, best regards,

Hi Clint,
Another top shot !
Excellent sharpness and DOF.

  • Great 
  • gazo Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 72 W: 0 N: 13] (91)
  • [2007-01-07 0:48]

Perfect one...!! Very, very nice **

very artistic, TFS Ori

Bonjour Clint
C'est vraimment une composition de rêve, excellente
gestion de la luminosité et piqué. BRAVO !
Salutations Robi

  • Great 
  • magal Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 224 W: 0 N: 313] (1251)
  • [2007-01-07 3:39]

Hi Clint,
Your shots have a very particular lighting effect. Detail and colours are beyond comment but even more so is the light management. Beautiful in all aspects.
TFS and hope some day you would post some advice in respect of lighting.

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2007-01-07 4:12]

Hi Clint magnificant shot, the clarity and composition are superb and so typical of your style. Congratulations on the first prize in that competition too!
One for my faves, so thanks.


Hola clint.
Muy buena composicion.
buena luz y muy nitida.
Un saludo.

Very interesting picture. Nice comopsition and good sharpness. The colours are also wonderfull.
Big smile and greetings

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-01-07 7:38]

Hello Clint,
Again a first-class shot from you! Try another competition and I'm sure you'll win again!! Excellent composition and fantastic light and details. I love it!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla


Lovely picture. Great composition, lighting and background. TFS.

Murali Santhanam

My sincere congratulations for this shot, besides the techniccal aspects which I find very nice, it is indeed the most arty one I have seen today. Lovely!
Regards, Felipe.

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2007-01-07 8:57]

Excellenet composition.

Hello Clint,
Let me say this outright that I am thrilled after a cursory glance at your pictures I missed after you first post on December 24, (if I recall it correctly).
I admire the way you compose your images; they are artistic creations first and nature pictures later.
I would like to look at all of them in my leisure later on.
Regarding this picture of a snail, I feel I have already said what I wanted to say: it is ART of a very high order. Period.

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-01-07 12:46]

Hi Clint

I loved the ladybird picture - I can't believ you got a snail as well. Go on admit it - you are glueing them on there aren't you :-)

Only joking, this is such a great shot. It is artistic, beautiful and original. Great DOF, fantastic BG, lovely POV, sharp details and a great composition



Absolutely stunning. Great sharpness and perfect focus. Beautiful composition. Regards, Yvonne


Tres poétique ta photo! le cadrage est parfait, ainsi que la lumiere et les détails. Bonne utilisation de la mesure de lumiere spot!!


  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2007-01-07 17:22]

Hi Clint,

Wonderful shot of of this Snail, another superb artistic composition and a fabulous pose and POV, very good detail, beautiful colours and lighting too, great work yet again.

TFS Hilary :o)

  • Great 
  • hibou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 217 W: 1 N: 331] (1629)
  • [2007-01-07 19:47]

Hello Clint,

an other perfect shot from You. Congrat and TFS

Hi Clint

Wow! This is just fantastic! Congrats! :-)

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2007-01-08 8:30]

La misma calidad técnica y estética de la imagen de la mariquita que mencionas en tus notas Clint.
Una composición impecable con claridad y agudeza, además del gran efecto lumínico captado.
con la mejor intención para aprender de ello... la composición ha sido preparada o es 100% natural? y el fondo con esa particular difusión... es parte del post procesado o efecto de la misma iluminación?
Felicitaciones por el premio obtenido... bien merecido está.
Mis mejores saludos... Ricardo

The same quality technical and aesthetics of the image of the ladybird that you mention in your notes Clint.
An impeccable composition with clarity and sharpness, besides the great captured light effect.
With the best intention to learn of it... the composition has been prepared or is 100 natural%? and the bottom with this particular diffusion... is part of the post processed or effect of the same illumination?
Congratulations for the obtained prize... very deserved is.
My best greetings... Ricardo


Priceless! Great photo, Clint! Have added to my Theme

Merci, Jay

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