Mayele, the dominant male silverback of the Mongambe group, Dzanga Sangha. These western lowland gorillas have been habituated over the last eight years or so, which is about how long it takes for a group to feel comfortable in the presence of humans.
Western lowland gorillas live in dense forest and are tough to photograph. Two years ago I photographed the group at Mondika in the Congo and faced similar challenges: very low light and thick foliage. You can be five metres from a large gorilla and yet have no shot because the undergrowth is so dense. Most of these photos are shot at 3200 ISO, 1/80th shooting handheld with a 400mm lens (at f4) - made possible by Image Stabilisation and the 5D MkII’s low-light performance.
Kingo, the dominant male silverback, wallowing in a swamp. He leads an eight-strong group of Western lowland gorillas in the depths of the Congolese rainforest at Mondika
One of Kingo’s four females. Shooting conditions were tough: rain, fogged-up lenses and viewfinders, waist-deep swamps, minimal light thanks to the closed-canopy rainforest and cloud cover plus thick undergrowth…