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Japanese Macaque in Jigokudani Yaenkoen Onsen
1st PlaceJapanese Macaque in Jigokudani Yaenkoen Onsen
Falc


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Free Study 2009-02 (Advanced Editing VII)
Camera: Canon EOS-1D Mark III
Lens: Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM
Location: Japan, Jigokudani Yaenkoen
Date: Feb 3, 2009
Aperture: f3.5
ISO: 200
Shutter: 1/400
Date Uploaded: Feb 4, 2009

Japanese Snow Monkeys lazing away the day in the natural hot springs near Yudanaka, Japan.


Thank you very much for all the kind words, much appreciated. I visited Japan last month and as soon as I knew I was making the trip to Tokyo I started to plan a couple of days with the Monkeys. It really is incredibly easy to get there within a few hours, leaving Tokyo at 6:00am by Shinkansen (Bullet Train) and changing to a local express. I would recommend anyone visiting Tokyo to make this trip.

I actually visited two days running and came away with over 1500 images.

This image was taken on the second day and when I saw them in this pose I just had to get the picture. To be honest I was in paparazzi mode and pushed my way through quite a number of 'local' tourists to get low down and close for the angle. I do believe I would have killed anyone who got in my way at that point in time ;-)

The monkeys are incredibly tolerant of photographers, with several actually stepping over my lens as I continued to shoot from water level.

If you would like to see more then you can visit my gallery at Snow Monkeys Gallery

Once again, many thanks for the votes, and even more for zero 1,2,3 votes - a first in many ways.

Statistics
Place: 1 out of 436
Avg (all users): 7.6923
Avg (commenters): 8.9118
Avg (participants): 7.6168
Avg (non-participants): 7.8571
Views since voting: 10134
Views during voting: 346
Votes: 156
Comments: 122
Favorites: 118 (view)


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AuthorThread
11/12/2011 03:16:07 PM
This is absolutely breathtaking! Great shot!!
07/13/2009 06:46:02 PM
I can't stop looking at this....such fine work !
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/07/2009 11:36:17 AM
Keith, just wanted to come back and comment on this as I have just been watching a documentary about these monkeys. Absolutely fascinating. They seem almost human. I love this one.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/07/2009 06:05:03 PM
Originally posted by SaraR:

Just saw that this got an HM at the Bristol open - congrats!


Thanks Sarah, I had two honourable mentions, both with Snow Monkey shots. Just shows DPC is a good test bed. I've learnt such a lot while I've been here.
05/07/2009 03:58:00 PM
Just saw that this got an HM at the Bristol open - congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/17/2009 01:12:02 AM
Really one of the best images I've ever seen. Really good stuff.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/14/2009 12:57:52 PM
I feel the most precious moment of those snow monkeys in your whole gallery. Great capture and congratulations on your blue ribbon!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/14/2009 10:58:13 AM
These guys are great! Congrats on capturing such a cool image, and a ribbon to boot. Welcome Back!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 10:01:05 PM
What can I say....wow. I'd have loved to see the look on your face when you saw this group arranged this way. Especially the one lying back. It's one of those moments when you must have thought "this is going to be a very special photo!" It's one thing to have the skills to set up and take this great shot....but it's another thing to be there when something special happens, such as the "pose" they struck at the right time. Magic for any photogrpher!! I am a novice, but I hope to be lucky enough to capture some great moments like this one and to do them justice like you have. It's not just a great shot...but a great moment you've captured.

Message edited by author 2009-03-11 22:02:46.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 09:47:34 PM
This is an absolutely beautiful shot, you have captured the mood so perfectly. Congratulations on 1st place!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 03:11:17 PM
I thought I was talking to Judi, the 2nd place winner, sorry.

CONGRATS for your 1st place!!

Message edited by author 2009-03-11 15:20:30.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 12:08:17 PM
These monkeys so freaking cute, they r just chilling, i love them soo much and i want one

oh yea good picture
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 12:00:58 PM
Amazing image! Families are so much fun!
Congrats on a ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 11:29:06 AM
This shot is soooo amazing! It makes me think of my own relationships, it IS what we were meant for! Thank you for bringing this glimpse into this world in which we live! Beautiful....

Also, looked through your other monkey shots. They are wonderful. *~Kuddos~*
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 06:43:01 AM
http://www.pbase.com/falcn/image/108851579

I couldn't breathe for a minute looking at that frame. Amazing
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 06:06:45 AM
I keep coming back to this shot again and again, it is simply fantastic! I've also checked out your other monkey shots and they are all awesome as well. I especially like the little guy on the left just laying back ... I so want to go to Japan now!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 05:47:26 AM
This is an amazing photo. It rates as one of my all time favourites. Congratulations. It was worth the effort you went to to get it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/10/2009 09:09:03 PM
Just wanted to take a bit so say what a truly remarkable shot this is. I didn't get a chance to vote on it, but it's a definite 10.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/10/2009 10:04:46 AM
Amazing capture! Congratulations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/10/2009 08:17:00 AM
Oh my! Whatta capture! congrats!!!!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/10/2009 07:52:31 AM
Absolutley Stunning.!!! no doubt.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/09/2009 11:49:52 PM
This photo makes me cry. I could stare at it for hours. It has to be in the top very few of my all time favorite photos.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/09/2009 02:53:24 PM
Supperb shot! I love the gallery too. Congratulations!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/09/2009 01:20:14 PM
Congrats, Keith. I took a look at your pbase gallery - some extraordinary shots there, too, including "Bad Hair Day" and "Snow Monkey 3." And this ribbon-winning shot really stands out even more at a larger size.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/09/2009 12:26:41 PM
This is a classic, a gem! You're so lucky to have material like this to capture. A well deserved first place win!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/09/2009 11:24:35 AM
OMG, this is amazing. Congrats. you deserve it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/09/2009 06:15:04 AM
wow. fantastic ... and I like the title :-), congratulations on your win.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/09/2009 05:30:19 AM
Beautiful...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/09/2009 05:08:22 AM
Add another (virtual) 10 to the list. Fabulous.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 09:21:37 PM
That's what I thought too. Truly a vexing and intriguing image worth a daily view. Perhaps a poster would be an idea.

Originally posted by gaurawa:

Reminded me of the starting of movie Baraka. Great shot and congrats on the blue.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 09:08:56 PM
what a group! Looks like they are either praying or mourning something... Congrats on an incredible shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 08:27:54 PM
Fabulous image Blue ribbon so deserved
Brilliant work
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 07:41:12 PM
WOW!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 07:26:29 PM
WOW a very well deserved ribbon! Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 05:51:58 PM
677020.jpgPostLuminous Award WINNER!
not that this measures up against a blue, but I just wanted you to know that this image reached inside me and won't let go. This is an image I will always be able to call to mind. Thank you.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 05:32:44 PM
Edited image details
but thank you for the votes again.

Message edited by author 2009-03-08 17:37:41.
03/08/2009 05:23:48 PM
Absolutley Stunning.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 04:12:32 PM
I'm glad other people enjoyed this as much as I did. Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 04:12:13 PM
This is such an amazing capture and so very unusual. What human instincts, or vise versa. Beautiful technical expertise!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 02:40:58 PM
Nice capture of their emotions.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 02:05:23 PM
congrats on the deserved blue!!
your success in several free study challenges tells a lot about your talent.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 01:41:41 PM
Fantastic! Absolutely outstanding shot!! Congratulations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 01:33:15 PM
ah amazing amazing photo well deserved!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 01:18:17 PM
AMAZING capture.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 11:40:38 AM
Wow... wow... WOW!!... Just an amazing photo. Blue ribbon well deserved!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 11:34:25 AM
Amazing capture --- and a beautiful image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 11:16:09 AM
stunning , National Geographic here you come!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 10:59:43 AM
Congratulations on your win, this is a awesome image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 10:58:37 AM
Extraordinary. One of the very best images to actually win a Blue in DPC in quite a while. What makes the image transcendant, of course, this is "incredible reclining monkey" and the way the ONLY monkey with open eyes is staring down so fixedly at his/her chest... Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 10:55:41 AM
Absolutely beautiful, Well deserved "Blue"
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 09:36:32 AM
The reclining monkay is just out of this world. A most excellent image, Keith. Congratulations on the blue.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 09:14:08 AM
subarashi.... congrats
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 08:45:43 AM
Absolutely FABulous image! I love it. You're so lucky to be there to see this, too. Congratulations!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 08:19:42 AM
Congrats on a wonderful capture!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 07:00:19 AM
Fantastic capture Keith! This is one of my lifelong dreams to get the opportunity to photograph these wonderfull creatures! You've done a fantastic job and I hope this is one of many pearls you've managed to bring back.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 06:58:33 AM
Nice one mate... brilliant work as always.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 06:39:49 AM
beautiful,well done and congratulations
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 06:17:32 AM
LOL this one is brilliant...Congrats on the blue :o)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 06:11:44 AM
Beautiful shot. Congratulations with a professionally captured, brilliantly processed, well deserved blue ribbon and a personal 2nd all time best score.

Message edited by author 2009-03-08 06:13:13.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 05:29:18 AM
beautiful
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 04:58:07 AM
WOW!!!

Best shot i've seen in ages. The emotion on the faces is fab.

Congrats on the blue. But i don't think there was much doubt that this would be the winner.

Kev
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 04:56:15 AM
Congratulations on a fine win with a damn fine entry.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 04:39:13 AM
Probably the best animal shot on this site! Nice!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 03:58:46 AM
That one reclining is awesome. What a wonderful slice of life.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 03:44:10 AM
Unbelievably wonderful!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 03:36:26 AM
I love this. A utterly well deserved blue. Fan-flippin-tastic!!!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 03:11:06 AM
Very beautiful. Incredible. They're just like humans.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 01:33:06 AM
incredible image .. love all the different expressions and the way they seem to be so amazingly comfortable .. the one leaning back clinches this . or maybe its the three with their eyes closed .. !! .. wotever, wherever i look is pleasurable .. congrats on your ribbon, this looks mighty good coming second place on your profile page ...:)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 01:25:53 AM
Reminded me of the starting of movie Baraka. Great shot and congrats on the blue.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 01:18:32 AM
I loved this shot! Congrats on the blue and glad it won.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 01:11:19 AM
I've often seen photos of the onsen macaques in Japanese photo magazines, and thought they'd make a pretty good Free Study entry, with a good chance of winning the Blue Ribbon. Now you're done it! Congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 01:05:10 AM
Congrats on the Blue! Perfect PIC...the expressions are excellent!

Message edited by author 2009-03-08 11:39:44.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 12:58:43 AM
Congrats on your Blue...well well deserved.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 12:50:12 AM
TOTALLY FABULOUS! Just truly special!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 12:27:36 AM
This should have been a 10 instead of a 7.6. That is awesome.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 12:21:49 AM
I knew this would ribbon, I usually am bad at guessing winners, not this time! Great shot, I was one of your 10s, Congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 12:19:20 AM
Absolutely amazing shot! Congrats on first place.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 12:17:41 AM
Congrats on the blue and a great shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 12:17:35 AM
That is a REALLY HIGH score. I think you pleased all the DPC factions with this photo. Very few scores under 6.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 12:16:05 AM
Outstanding image! Congratulations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 12:14:55 AM
loving the opportunity to see this one again
fabulous! Congrats!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 12:13:24 AM
Unbelievably good. Congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 12:06:27 AM
The mood is incredible, as is the delicacy of the light. Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 12:06:09 AM
Stunning...such a painted like quality...beautiful image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/08/2009 12:02:40 AM
grats on the blue!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
03/07/2009 10:17:11 PM
they look like medieval saints. 9
03/07/2009 06:34:38 PM
Some people, I mean monkey's, have all the luck: 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/07/2009 05:37:20 PM
Superb. The macaque laid back lifts this from the good to the extraordinary. Slight shame that the sky has crept in at the top right, as it is slightly unbalancing, but nonetheless a very impressive photograph.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/07/2009 03:51:44 PM
okay--back to bump this to 10.

This is peaceful, haunting, profound, cute, intriguing all at once.

I appreciate your processing here--just enough to create the mood and feeling without overdoing anything.

Extraordinary
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/07/2009 11:44:58 AM
wonderful capture
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/06/2009 11:52:54 PM
Fabulous shot. And aren't they funny! 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/06/2009 10:34:28 PM
Wow, that's something else. They are like monks meditating.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/06/2009 05:59:27 PM
Wow, this is a very spooky photo. Very nicely done
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/06/2009 07:48:24 AM
This is really fascinating. And so very peaceful and relaxing! I like the faces reflected, too.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/05/2009 11:22:22 PM
This is so great! I love it...it is so peaceful looking.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/05/2009 08:18:02 PM
most amazing creatures!! love the looks on their faces - so serene. You've got a 10 from me!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/05/2009 07:23:56 AM
This is a wonderful photo...I would love to head up to Nagano right about now for a shot like this. The monkey on the right sleeping is just so great. 10 from me, and a fav at that.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 02:26:07 PM
Great shot.. one of the best in the challenge. ..
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 11:13:58 AM
great shot
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2009 09:02:00 AM
This is great!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/03/2009 10:27:36 PM
Wow, this is an amazing shot. They look like they are really relaxed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/03/2009 09:09:17 PM
Room for one more?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/03/2009 03:45:23 PM
Outstanding processing and great family portrait! If this doesn't ribbon I will be surprised.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/03/2009 04:36:02 AM
This is totally amazing! I've never seen anything like it. I think your technicals leave room for improvement, but this gets a 9 from me regardless.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/02/2009 11:46:09 PM
Truly un-believable capture, group meditation! Amazing !
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/02/2009 07:42:51 PM
wow..beautiful...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/02/2009 01:45:57 PM
I've never been a big fan of animal shots on this site, but this one goes well beyond just a "look at the expression on that animal's face" kind of composition. You can sense the closeness of this family/pack. The shallow DOF works well for this one as well. Best I've seen thus far in this FS and certainly the best animal shot I recall seeing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/02/2009 09:41:53 AM
amazing and so beautiful..I have never seen anything like this image or your subject..10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2009 10:03:18 PM
They all look so peaceful and calm. This is a wonderful capture and a beautiful photo!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2009 09:25:05 PM
10
:)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2009 07:21:31 PM
Right out of National Geographic! Wonderful shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2009 06:58:34 PM
I like the second one from the left the most. If that isnt relaxation, I dont know what is.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2009 03:46:02 PM
This looks like the most relaxing hot-tub ever. Great catch. The monkeys(?) look unusually human.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2009 11:21:15 AM
Wonderfully cool shot. I saw a program about these snow macaque monkeys on Discovery channel some time ago. Lovely capture. I like the way that little one is leaning back and dozing. 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2009 10:18:57 AM
Absolutely gorgeous. The content and pleasure on their faces is precious. Almost like a meditative state of mind.
Beautiful picture.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2009 09:27:13 AM
I gave out two 10s in this challenge and this is one. The scene and the facial expressions on each is very interesting to look at. Nice!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2009 06:49:43 AM
priceless - I had to call people to look at it. Reminds me of our local council workforce! Must win - 10
(I would say this has definite sales potential)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2009 03:58:24 AM
Wow, is this for real? - I did a real double take on this one - great shot (9) from me - best of
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2009 01:27:48 AM
wow this is too cute to be real. remarkable creatures
9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2009 01:08:28 AM
Reminds me of my family... nice pic.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2009 01:01:31 AM
Nothing like bathing with friends, heh.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2009 12:37:32 AM
This is mesmerizing, I suppose partly because of the fact that they are all close-eyed, and the odd posture of the one leaning backward, as if in a death repose. Also the reflections - I suppose some might say you would be better off using a polarizer to get rid of the water reflections, but I like very much that you have them, and the image would be less absorbing to look at if they weren't there.
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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