Three Faces

25mm, 1/200s, f/6,3, ISO1250

My experiences with gorillas are probably reversed from those of most people’s. My first 20 hours or so in the presence of gorillas were all in DR Congo, in Virunga and Kahuzi-Biega national parks. I then had quite a bit of time with them in Uganda, followed by more DRC as well as time with western gorillas in the Republic of Congo. Then, finally, Rwanda — but not until 2019.

Kahuzi-Biega, where this photograph was taken, remains one of my favourite national parks in Africa. I know a fair few people there, having lived at the park headquarters several times, and I feel at home in the area. It remains the only place where one can easily see the world’s largest primates, the Grauer’s (or eastern lowland) gorillas. They differ slightly in their behaviour from mountain gorillas, their closest relatives, perhaps most noticeably in their family structures.

The three visible faces in this photograph — head tracker Lambert and two of the gorillas — are all facing the centre of the photograph, which helps make the image “work” by bringing that, rather than the edges, to our attention. I also like the leaves in the bottom left foreground, as it gives a hint of watching the gorillas from a hiding place rather than out in the open.

Don’t miss our extensive interview with Marcus and head to his website for even more.