This is one from our White & Wild Japan tour.

Little over a week I will be leading our annual photo tour to Japan again, where we photograph the famous snow monkeys, whooper swans, the endangered red crowned cranes, and Steller's sea eagles. We've been going there for many years, and it's one of our most popular (and most copied) tours. It also happens to be one of our own favourite trips, so we can't wait to see these little guys again!

The snow monkeys are a real joy to watch, not only because they're constantly active in and around the natural hot springs and that there's a lot of interaction between monkeys to observe and photograph, but also because they resemble humans so much and you can really tell how they're feeling and what they're thinking. Well, almost. The young monkeys are particularly enjoyable to watch because they're very lively and curious.

If you talk to any wildlife photographer, they will tell you to shoot at the eye level of your subject - never shoot down. They're usually right, but rules are meant to be broken, and that's what I did here.

I deliberately chose a very high viewpoint to look straight down at this young snow monkey in an attempt to make it look even smaller. An advantage of this approach was that when the monkey looked up at me, it was looking in the direction of the sky, and that's where all the light comes from - natural fill flash for those big eyes.

If you're interested in joining me on our next Japan trip and learn more about wildlife photography, please check out my website for more information and tour impression video clips:

Squiver Photo Tours & Workshops

This year's trip is fully booked, but you can already reserve a spot for the 2014 tour.

Hope to see you there!


A message to the down-voters: don't be a coward - if you don't like this photo, please comment why you don't. That's what you would want for your own pictures as well, right?

©2013 Marsel van Oosten, All Rights Reserved. This image is not available for use on websites, blogs or other media without the explicit written permission of the photographer.

Discover more inspiring photos like this one.

Download the FREE 500px app Open in app