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“Hanuma langur” by Stefano Unterthiner

A young Hanuman langur playing with his mother on a cliff in the Thar Desert of India

‘Hanuma langur and her young’ by Stefano Unterthiner

A mother of Hanuman langur (Semnopithecus entellus) and her young are looking at my camera. I worked several weeks on that species during my assignment for National Geographic Magazine. Hanuman langur is the only primate, apart from human, that thrive in the harsh habitat of the Thar Desert of India, where temperatures can reach 50°C (122ºF).

Spending time with the group helped me to understand their habits and behaviors. The monkeys quickly recognized me and didn’t care too much about my presence. After a few days, I was able to start working with my favorite lens: the wide-angle.

I took this image one early morning, when the group was starting moving to the feeding area. The mother was calm and did not move away when I approached. The young langur was interested in my lens and tried to touch my camera. I used a 16-35 mm and a Nikon D3s. I put a neutral density filter to have more details on the sky and exposed the scene to have enough light for the langurs.

I enjoy photographing close to my subject to give the feeling that I am part of the group. Hanuman langurs are not really shy but very playful animals. They spend hours to roll, jump, and chase each others. They are really funny and seems tireless. -Stefano Unterthiner

Equipment and settings: Nikon D3s, Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR zoom lens

This image and several other Unterthiner prints and books are available by request here. Follow Unterthiner’s work on Facebook. His portfolio can be seen at his website,

You’ll find more imagery and a long form article that I wrote on Unterthiner discussing the dedicated photographer’s extended journeys in the field on the OP website here. He spends many months familiarizing himself with subjects in order to capture their natural behavior.