TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton

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11 Comments | Report
KatieMcKinneyPhotography PRO+
 
KatieMcKinneyPhotography February 16, 2015
Wow what a fantastic moment captured! It looks a tad dark and a little bit more contrast/clearity in this would really make this great photo pop even more so! What a cool experience this must have been :)
RhondaMcD
 
RhondaMcD February 25, 2015
I've seen this photo before and I'm always stunned when I see it. It's such a fantastic capture.
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton February 25, 2015
Thank you very much Rhonda! :D
njkerosky PRO+
 
njkerosky March 01, 2015
Spectacular Capture!!! Congrats!!!
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton March 01, 2015
Thank you NJ! :D
njkerosky PRO+
 
njkerosky March 15, 2015
Congratulations!!! Your photo is a Finalist in the "Nature's Perfect Moment" Challenge. Fantastic Work!!!
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton March 16, 2015
Thanks again NJ!
Arzhtatiana PRO
 
Arzhtatiana May 05, 2015
Excellent!
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton May 05, 2015
Thank you Arzhtatiana!
Pjerry PRO+
 
Pjerry May 07, 2015
Applause
fabulous.
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton May 07, 2015
Thanks a lot Pierre!
BrianpSlade
 
BrianpSlade October 31, 2015
Your wonderful image made my top 5 in my photo challenge...Classic Animal Headshots....well done...Brian
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton October 31, 2015
Thank you very much Brian!
catherinethompson PRO
 
catherinethompson December 01, 2016
This is stunning. Congratulations.
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton December 02, 2016
Thank you Catherine!
chrisjohnson_7473
 
chrisjohnson_7473 March 29, 2017
What an amazing image! So much emotion. I love it.
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton January 09, 2018
Thanks Chris :)
AdirahsEyes
 
AdirahsEyes July 27, 2017
well expressed shot.. makes me cold too!!! has the wow factor.
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton January 09, 2018
Thanks a lot Adriah!
CuriosityCaptures
 
CuriosityCaptures January 09, 2018
Beautiful shot!!
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton January 09, 2018
Thanks a lot!

Behind The Lens

Location
I took this photo at the natural hot springs in the Snow Monkey National Park Near Nagano in northern Japan. An hours bullet train ride from Tokyo through the mountains brings you to Nagano city and from theres it around a 45 minute standard train ride to Yudanaka the town nearest the park itself. Depending which end of town you stay in the snow monkey park is about a 10 minute car journey to reach followed by a 20 -25 minute trek through the woods. Its a lot of effort but in terms of scenery, and the monkeys themselves its worth every minute.
Time
It was around midday so the light was perfect although theres was a bit of a blizzard heaving down. In the long run I feel that it made the environment more magical having the snow than being there on a clear day. I particularly liked the contrast of the steam from the spring meeting the snow falling from the sky.
Lighting
Although it was snowing a lot there was a reasonable amount of clear sky in the area whilst I was shooting so I was able to use all natural light for the images. I also don't like using a flash for wildlife shots as it can create some discomfort for the subject when it fires.
Equipment
I used a Nikon D7000 and a 150-500mm sigma lens. This gave me great flexibility on location as I was able to shoot subjects from one spot all over the area of the hot spring. Close us were particularly what I was going for in an almost portrait style so the limit of 500mm was perfect for this situation. All the shots I have taken on this shoot were handheld as there are a lot of other people and photographer by the spring making lugging a tripod around fairly impractical.
Inspiration
Its hard not to be inspired at this location or by the monkeys themselves. The fairly isolated location (you have to trek about half an hour through a frozen wood) and the character of the monkeys all make for an excellent environment to shoot wildlife. Probably the best location I have been the place is almost magical!
Editing
I used a minor adjustment in photoshop with the curves tool to raise the brightness slightly and then imported the file into Lightroom. From here in slightly increased the contrast, clarity, sharpness and highlights to create a slightly more clearer image with a bit of punch to it!
In my camera bag
This shot was taken using a Nikon D7000 body and a sigma 150-500mm lens. I really like the flexibility you get with the large focal range and I didn't find myself wanting at any point during the shoot. I didn't use flash as I wanted to avoid startling any of the monkeys so I found a large aperture was the best way to go. All of these shot were handheld, which is no mean feat when lugging around a 150-500mm lens. My arms definitely got a good work out on this one! On a day to day basis I carry an 18-300mm lens for street and people photography. This gives me a lot of flexibility when shooting street scenes and people. I have a 10-20mm lens for architecture use, both interior and exterior as well as an 8mm and a 6.5mm fish eye when 10mm leaves me wanting. I also have a 4.5mm circular fish eye for surreal shots although it doesn't get as much use as the other lenses.
Feedback
Be patient and be prepared to wait around in cold temperatures. In winter Nagano is extremely cold so dress well for the shoot. I had 4 layers on and still felt the cold. Follow one subject at a time and wait before firing the shutter. You will miss a lot of shots if you move the lens around around a lot and with the unpredictability of wildlife you maximise your chances of capturing that perfect moment by following one subject at a time. In terms of settings I advise using a fast shutter speed of at least 1/125 and a wide aperture of at least 5.6 (preferable, 3.5) and a low ISO of between 100 and 320. This will ensure you don't get any motion blur in your image and should not jeopardise the clarity of your shot. Good luck and if you are ever fortunate enough to go to Japan I cannot recommend this place enough!

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