About an hour before sunset Simone set up at the edge of a cliff, high in the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia. He was waiting for a group of geladas to return after a day’s foraging on nearby grasslands. Geladas are the last surviving species of a once-widespread group of grass-grazing primates. They are now confined to certain spots of the Ethiopian highlands, threatened by the loss of grasslands and competition from grazing livestock. The monkeys arrived at the cliff as the Sun set and the cold night loomed. They climbed over the cliff edge to find a safe place to huddle together for warmth while they slept. Simone leant over, balancing against a rock to get as close as possible without falling. At that point it was almost dark. Simone increased his ISO setting to maximum, used a gentle pulse of flash and focussed straight down the cliff, capturing a vivid shot of these close-knit primates at rest.
Nikon D800 + 70–200mm f2.8 lens at 180mm; 1/125 sec at f13 (-0.6 e/v); ISO 6400; Nikon SB-800 flash.
Simien Mountains, Ethiopia
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Simone Sbaraglia, Italy
A former mathematician, with a PhD in Mathematics and Computer Science, Simone worked as a scientist in New York before returning to Italy in 2005 to become a full-time wildlife photographer. Most of his work concentrates on endangered species and ecosystems. He has won many awards, produced a touring exhibition and featured in Italian and international publications.