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17 Comments | Report
Remraf
 
Remraf August 06, 2015
Nice shot!
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton August 06, 2015
Thanks a lot remraf!
rohitmelkani
 
rohitmelkani August 06, 2015
beautyfull....
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton August 06, 2015
Thank you Rohit!
modelmeemaw Premium
 
modelmeemaw August 06, 2015
just wonderful, do wonder what they are thinking!
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton August 06, 2015
Thank you meemaw! :D
iceman2
 
iceman2 August 06, 2015
Beautiful capture!Congrats
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton August 06, 2015
Thanks a lot iceman!
cevert
 
cevert August 06, 2015
Amazing shot! Congratulations on your feature :D
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton August 06, 2015
Thanks you very much cevert!
chuckrickman Premium
 
chuckrickman August 06, 2015
Such an amazing photo. WOW
lisasholley PRO
 
lisasholley August 12, 2015
Incredible capture. Makes me wish that I had been there myself!
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton August 12, 2015
Thank you Lisa!
amandasarah
 
amandasarah August 13, 2015
Awesome shot!
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton August 13, 2015
Thank you Amanda!
maureenrueffer
 
maureenrueffer August 20, 2015
Fantastic
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton August 21, 2015
Thanks Maureen!
anchoret
 
anchoret August 24, 2015
Brilliant shot!
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton August 26, 2015
Thanks a lot anchoret!
charlottef
 
charlottef August 29, 2015
Where was this photographed? I want to go there :-) Great photo - well done for being featured.
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton September 02, 2015
Thanks Charlotte! Its at the Snow Monkey Park near Nagano in Japan. Well worth the trip if you can get over there!
cyrillinegoodman
 
cyrillinegoodman November 06, 2016
Amazing Capture! Congratulations.
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton February 27, 2017
Thanks a lot Cyrilline! :D
paulbrian
 
paulbrian February 22, 2017
really exclllent work,
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton February 27, 2017
Thanks Paul!
podesta
 
podesta June 14, 2017
fantastic capture
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton October 10, 2017
Thank you Podesta!
isabeluffey
 
isabeluffey October 08, 2017
Lovely shot
TheoShilton PRO
TheoShilton October 10, 2017
Thank you Isabelle!
Julesm2012 PRO
 
Julesm2012 April 06, 2018
Beautiful shot, amazing , well done
daiglepa0908 PRO+
 
daiglepa0908 Nov 12
I just love their facial expressions. Thank you for this beautiful photogaph.

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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
This was taken in the morning at around 11am. The light was really good for half of the shoot and then a blizzard came in. Although the results in the blizzard were something special! The cold was pretty brutal as we were at the tail end of winter in Nagano. I came with 4 layers on but that didn't stop the cold getting to me. By the end of the shoot I could barely move my fingers but it was worth it for the range of images I was lucky enough to capture.
Lighting
I never use flash when shooting wildlife as I don't want to startle a subject or make them feel uncomfortable. For me wildlife photography is about capturing an animal in a natural state not something manufactured. Because of this I always use the light available to me on the day and then adjust my settings accordingly. Due to the need of a fast shutter speed you always need a wide aperture which hopefully allows you to have a low ISO and reduce any potential noise in your image.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.
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 ups 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
The character of these monkeys is amazing. You can capture a really broad range of emotions and facial expressions during a shoot at the hot springs and its impossible not to be inspired by their charm and personality. Capturing them in groups sometimes portays a range of expressions and emotions that hard to capture in other wild settings.
Editing
I rarely do a lot of post processing with wildlife images. I firstly put the image into photoshop for a very minimal tweak with the curves tool then imported into Lightroom. In Lightroom I firstly adjusted the clarity and sharpness a bit and increased the contrast slightly. The light on the image was fairly good from the RAW file so I minimally adjusted the highlights to give the shot a slightly crisper look. Finally I applied a vignette to the image to create a stronger focus on the monkeys face and expression.
In my camera bag
I usually carry two main lenses for wildlife work a sigma 150-500mm and a Nikon 18-300mm. I find that a combination of both of these focal lengths rarely leaves me caught out when shooting animals. I also carry a 10-20mm lens for architectural and landscape work which is always my go to lens for these kinds of shots. Finally I have three fish eye lenses for street and architectural shot when I find myself wanting at the 10mm limit. My fish eyes are fixed focal lengths and are 8mm and 6.5mm rectangular lenses and a 4.5mm circular lens.
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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