Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Kenya The chimpanzee is the closest living relative to humans, capable of using tools, deception, planning ahead and hunting with sophisticated tactics. These chimps however are not native to Kenya, as they have been brought to the sanctuary for refuge as orphans from abusive situations and war torn area from west and central africa. The Sweetwaters Chimpanzee sanctuary allied with the Jane Goodall Institute was thus created as a permanent residence to our expressive and vibrant cousins.
Photographic Details: Humans and chimps are both able to establish a connection visually. I wanted to express this with a detail shot of the chimpanzee’s eyes, since they are such a telling and powerful part of this apes expressions. In addition the chimps were behind a fence, as these are wild chimps who's own private space needs to be respected. The best way to get a shot without having wires in the way was zooming in for detail between gaps in the fence. In addition I only wanted the eyes to be in focus, using an aperture of f2.8 there is no denying the eyes are the focal point of this image. I also waited for this chimp to pose with her arm on her shoulder, as I watched her do this before. This just barely showing her fingers in the background provides a little more visual evidence that these apes are so much like us.
1/160s f/2.8 ISO160 200mm
More on the sanctuary here: http://olpejetaconservancy.org/why/chimpanzees