WPY 2016

Photograph Details

Joint Winner 2016

The Wildlife Photojournalist Award: Story

Tim Laman, USA

While the forest still stands

What to eat, how to catch termites, make a pillow or build a nest... orang-utans aren’t born with this kind of knowledge, they learn it. This knowledge varies between groups of orang-utans in a similar way to how human cultures differ from one another. We have so much still to discover about this behaviour, but we may not have the chance. Orang-utans are now critically endangered due to habitat loss, poaching, the illegal pet trade and increased conflict with humans.

For Tim Laman, the challenge was to reveal glimpses of the lives and the culture of truly wild orang-utans while also reporting on the unfolding tragedy.

Technical specification

Image 1: GoPro HERO4 Black; 1/30 sec at f2.8; ISO 231.
Image 2: Canon EOS-1D C; 200-400mm f4 lens; 1/30 sec at f5.6; ISO 2500.
Image 3: DJI Phantom 3 Pro drone and DJI FC300X camera; 1/640 sec at f2.8; ISO 200.
Image 4: Canon EOS 5D Mark III; 24-105mm f4 lens; 1/750 sec at f4.5; ISO 1250.
Image 5: Canon EOS 5D Mark III; 16-35mm f2.8 lens at 16mm; 1/8000 sec at f4; ISO 2500.
Image 6: Canon EOS 5D Mark III; 24-105mm f4 lens; 1/1000 at f4; ISO 2500.


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Tim Laman

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.

  • Paradise performance
  • Night eyes
  • The paper-clip suitor
  • Sunrise performance
  • Banner advertising
  • Spellbinder
  • Heart-stopping show
  • The pole dancer
  • The sensitive mover
  • Entwined lives
  • When mother knows best
  • Road to destruction
  • Pursued by fire
  • Motherless
  • Entwined lives