Shot of the Month
Golden monkeys are a wildlife winner
Resting briefly on a stone seat, a male Qinling golden snubnosed monkey has been joined by a female from his small group. Both are watching intently as an altercation takes place down the valley, between the lead males of two other groups in the 50-strong troop.
It’s spring in the temperate forest of China’s Qinling Mountains, the only place where these endangered monkeys live. Although they’re accustomed to researchers observing them, they are also constantly on the move. As Marsel couldn’t swing through the trees, the steep slopes and mountain gorges proved challenging. Whenever he did catch up and found the monkeys were on the ground, the light was seldom right.
The only way to show both a male’s beautiful pelage and his striking blue face was to shoot at an angle from the back. That became Marsel’s goal. It took many days to understand the group’s dynamics and predict what might happen next, but finally his perseverance paid off with this gift of a perfect situation, with a forest backdrop and soft light filtering through the tree canopy. A low flash from the Nikon SB-910 flashgun brought out the male’s golden locks to complete the perfect portrait. The 54th Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is on show at the Natural History Museum, London. The next competition is open for entries until 13 December 2018.
The Golden Couple © Marsel van Oosten. Winner of Grand Title and Animal Portraits, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018.