David and I went to Port Lympne to attend a workshop on how to photograph gorillas. Having been to Howletts Wildlife Park only a couple of weeks back, I thought I knew what to expect of the day. I was wrong. Port Lympne is very different (but in a good way) to Howletts.
When taking pictures of gorillas, it’s a good idea to use a high speed flash gun to help pick out their eyes from their dark dark fur. It’s not necessary but the pictures do come out a lot better. I wanted to blur out the background so that the focus of the picture would be the gorilla – I did this by using a short depth of field.
I especially love this little guy who was literally only weeks old when I took this picture …
Taking pictures of these magnificent primates is not without its dangers though. About 20 minutes in, we had clearly upset the dominant male as he started to lob tree trunks at us! Just to give you an idea of their size, take a look at the photo below, you can feel the power emanating from him.
Gorillas are ground-dwelling, predominantly herbivorous apes that inhabit the forests of central Africa. They are the largest living primates by physical size and their DNA is highly similar to that of humans, from 95–99% depending on what is counted. They are also the next closest living relatives to humans after the chimpanzee and bonobo.
I don’t know if we will ever get the chance to see gorillas in the wild as I understand you have to be relatively fit in order to undertake the trek and I lead a rather sedentary lifestyle. As we leave Port Lympne, a final look at the magnificent gorilla.