I am currently photographing the snow monkeys with participants on my annual winter wonderland Hokkaido Wildlife Birding Adventure. The snow monkeys are a must-visit for any photographer in Japan. This morning I waited on my favorite rock because of my years of experience with the snow monkeys, I know to sit there because the snow monkeys will come to say hello. Others before me were just standing there, and the monkeys are intimidated by the people standing and will stay away as a result. A sitting person is not a threat, so out of curiosity, the monkeys will approach and greet me, sometimes even brushing past me as they travel the perimeter of the hot springs. I know the best locations to sit and wait for the perfect photo opportunity. After 15 - 20 minutes, at the Snow Monkey Hot Springs I have already taken my unforgettable photos, and I only give my participants the advice to share my location if they are so inclined to take their once in a lifetime photos using my trick of the trade while other visiting photographers are spending hours trying to capture breathtaking photos, but most walk away an amazing photo op wasted because they lack experience with the Japanese macaque, better known as the snow monkeys. For this series, my Camera Settings on my D850 were 1/1000, f/8, ISO2500. I used a higher ISO, so I could handhold and have an aperture of f8. I could have gone to f11, but I am happy with the depth of field and results at f8.
On a closing note, I was going to post a lovely photo of a baby snow monkey just months old, but instead, I opted for this series, with the Alpha male chasing down one of his favorite females to mate with, her nick-name is "Sister's," this is because she has a twin sister and her sister was going about her business. Today you would have thought it was autumn and mating season with the mild temperatures and little to no snow and the Alpha displaying his mating rituals.