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The Thoughtful Animal

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This Is The Best Animal Photo I Have Ever Taken

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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Longtime readers of this blog know that I like to take photos, and I primarily take them of two types of subjects: nighttime cityscapes, and animals. When you’re shooting architecture, you can take your time, you can plan. You can set up your tripod and be reasonably certain what your photo will look like when it is done exposing. Photographing architecture is a matter of vision and skill. When you’re shooting wild animals in semi-naturalistic environments, all the planning in the world won’t matter, short of things like choosing to shoot during the time of day animals are most likely to be active, and so on. Photographing animals is much more a matter of luck, patience, and a fast shutter. Some background knowledge of the behavior of the species you’re shooting is probably useful as well. But really, there’s a lot of serendipity involved.

With that, I present The Best Animal Photo I Have Ever Taken – a female bonobo photographed on March 3, 2013, at the San Diego Zoo.

Jason G. Goldman About the Author: Dr. Jason G. Goldman received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of Southern California, where he studied the evolutionary and developmental origins of the mind in humans and non-human animals. Jason is also an editor at ScienceSeeker and Editor of Open Lab 2010. He lives in Los Angeles, CA. Follow on . Follow on Twitter @jgold85.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. laidman 2:47 pm 03/20/2013

    Only if I were physically touching her might I be able to better sense the depth and breadth of her sadness. This may not only be the best photograph you have ever taken but the best of its kind anyone has ever taken.

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  2. 2. lynnoc 3:10 pm 03/20/2013

    As I think I’ve told you before, I’m a fan of yours. This photo is fantastic. Thanks
    Lynn O’Connor

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