Not once in 20 years of searching on the island of Borneo had Tim ever seen a Horsfield's (or western) tarsier. But he didn't give up his search for this small, rare and secretive primate. 'Tarsiers are totally nocturnal, so my goal was to capture the feel of night,' says Tim. Then, on a nocturnal sortie in the Danum Valley Conservation Area, Sabah, he finally found one. He raced back to the camp to get his tripod and strobe lights, and the tarsier cooperated, waiting and holding its pose. 'I kept my flash toned down and at an angle to illuminate the tarsier's special features: its toe pads for clinging to small trees, the sensitive, directional ears and those huge eyes for night vision.'
Canon EOS 5D + 70-200mm f2.8 lens; 1/125 sec at f11; ISO 200; Canon 580EX strobes.
Danum Valley Conservation Area, Sabah, Malaysia
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Tim Laman, USA
Tim is a field biologist and wildlife photojournalist with a reputation for returning from the wild with shots of nearly impossible subjects. His pioneering research in the rainforest canopy led to a PhD from Harvard University and the first of many articles for National Geographic magazine. His work has garnered numerous awards, including many in Wildlife Photographer of the Year.