The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, run by the British Natural History Museum, is often regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of wildlife photography. The prestigious title for 2018 was awarded to Dutch photographer Marsel van Oosten for his portrait of a pair of China’s golden snub-nosed monkeys, titled The Golden Couple.
D-Photo’s Adrian Hatwell managed to pin down the esteemed photographer for a chat about Marsel’s beginnings as a photographer and how he managed to capture the now-famous image, featured in issue 88. Marsel’s photography career began after 15 years working as an art director when he finally decided to make the switch and turn his hobby into his career.
“In advertising, everything is fake and often trivial; nature photography is quite the opposite. In the beginning of my career it was the antidote to that shallow world where everything is about sales and money,” says Marcel. “When I’m in nature, everything feels real and relevant — it’s life in its purest form.”
Marsel’s background probably has no small part to play in his approach to photography, where he strives to create the image that he envisions rather than allowing the current conditions dictate the final output. His extensive study of the monkeys’ behaviour and his careful curating of the lighting conditions is testament to that approach, creating an image that is not only stunning, but also draws attention to the monkeys’ endangered status.
See the full feature and more of Marsel’s beautiful photographs in D-Photo issue 88.
Marsel shoots with Nikon and has recently tried out the new Z 7. See his take on the new mirrorless model as well as some of the amazing locations in which he shoots in the video below.