Shot of the Month

Golden mon­keys are a wildlife win­ner

Digital Camera World - - CONTENTS -

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.

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