Alfred in contemplation
Visiting his mother’s orang-utan research programme in the Gunung Palung National Park, Russell was tracking a female through the rainforest. Suddenly, this male – Alfred – came swinging down almost to the ground to eat, a rare opportunity for Russell. ‘As Alfred gazed off into the distance, I couldn’t help wonder what he was thinking,’ he says.
Gunung Palung National Park is one of the last remaining strongholds of Bornean orang-utans. They face multiple threats: forest clearance for oil palm plantations, logging, slash-and-burn farming and illegal hunting, as well as a lack of legal protection and awareness. They are now critically endangered.
Canon EOS 7D; 70–200mm f2.8 lens; 1/250 sec at f2.8 (−0.5 e/v); ISO 800.
Gunung Palung National Park, West Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia
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Russell Laman, USA
Russell became interested in photography when he was eight years old and started borrowing his father's cameras. His favourite places to visit and photograph are tropical rainforests, the Galápagos Islands and Antarctica. Every summer he travels with his family to the island of Borneo in Indonesia, where his mother does research on wild orangutans.