The comedians of the bushveld
This comical baboon picture was taken by me on a safari trip to the Kruger National Park in South Africa. Can't resist taking a baboon pic when they start performing, they are almost human in their antics.
Unfortunately, they often start imitating the bad habits of humans also. A troop of baboons that hang around the Nkulu picnic area have taken to stealing food from unsuspecting visitors cars. They wait until a door is opened and the humans back is turned and then they dart in and take any food that they can lay their hands on.
Not content with only robbing the visitors, they also make sorties into the shop when the person manning the cash register is busy and run out with food clutched in their greedy fingers. This behavior can become dangerous because they start losing their inherent fear of humans and eventually might end up injuring someone. When that happens the offending baboon or baboons will have to be shot and the rest of the troop driven off.
It's normally very rewarding photographically spending some time with a troop of baboons because it doesn't take long before they do something that's worth taking a picture of. Because they are so dark, exposure can be tricky especially when the sun is behind your subject, so it sometimes pays to overexpose by one stop if that's the case.
Getting close to them isn't much of a problem because they are very used to humans, so a medium zoom lens is normally enough to get some interesting shots that won't require cropping. I'm often able to take a picture of only their eyes, which can be very expressive at times.
Baby baboons provide a lot of photographic opportunities because they are so animated and always on the go doing something, just like human babies.
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