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Deep, Deep Trouble Again

Deep, Deep Trouble Again
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-04-02
Categories: Mammals, Savannah
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 170-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO Ultra DG, Digital ISO 100, UV 86mm Kenko
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Mammals of Southern Africa, The pictures more views, Baby Animals 4, _Fotos adicionadas por 5 ou mais membros II, African Wildlife, Photographers *own* Favourites, Wildlife of Africa, 5 favs. and up, Mammals of Africa, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park 1, A study in Mammalogy (mammals) 1, 90-99 Puntos (chapter 1) [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-04-06 13:45
Viewed: 10530
Favorites: 15 [view]
Points: 100
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Chacma baboon - Papio ursinus

Early Sunday morning, my wife (Anna) and I left the Mkuze Game Reserve after we had a disastrous Saturday as far as game viewing or birding was concerned. Fortunately the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park is just a stone throw away. We hopped across the ±80km and arrived in time to enjoy a relative full and enjoyable day at the park.

On our way to the Hilltop camp, at the Mkhombe area, ±0.5km from the Zincakeni Dam, we encountered a troop of baboons that was enjoying their midday siesta. We noticed one female that was obviously in charge of the crèche consisting of ±20-25 juveniles. Half of them were romping around in a thorn tree (which provided us with a great deal of laughter) and the other half were playing about under the shade of the tree.

One was not partaking or enjoying the fun though. He sat very still next to the female in charge and had a rather serious (if not somewhat sulky) look on his face. We could not help to notice an almost human type of behaviour and were under the impression that the little guy was guilty of some mischief and received a serious reprimand just before our arrival. He wasn't taking any chances as the alpha male approached and sat down about 2m away from them. So, he just sat there scratching his head, playing with his tail, looking downwards and not making any eye contact with the two adults. It looked like he was told to sit in the corner and not make a sound, only there was no corner and he stood out like a sore thumb. The look of guilt was clearly written all over his face and I could not help but to relate him to Bart Simpson's expression of being in "Deep, deep trouble again".

If you want to know more about what happened to our little friend you are welcome to jump to the 2nd posting in this series at What's So Funny.


A large, yet slender baboon, with a prominent muzzle (almost dog like) and a sloping back. They carry their tails in a characteristic posture as if 'broken' near the base.

Body: Up to 1m (3¼ ft). Tail: 40-75cm (15¾-29½ in).

Africa: Angola, Zambia to South Africa.

Widespread and common.

Savanna, rocky areas.

They live in troops of about 30-100 individuals, sleeping among rocks or in trees at night and searching for food during the day. They feed early and late in the day and rest up at midday.

Almost any plant and animal matter, such as leaves, fruit, insects, small invertebrates, lizards, birds and young mammals, is included in their diet, but they are predominantly vegetarian.

When on heat, the bare skin around the female's genital region swells and at the peak of her fertile period only high ranking males may mate with her. This is common to all savanna baboons. The female gives birth to a single young, rarely twins, after a gestation of 175-193 days, and suckles her offspring for about 8 months.

Leopard, eagles may also take small baboons.

Source: "The Marshal Illustrated Encyclopedia of Animals" by Dr. Philip Whitfield, Marshall Publishing.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

valy67, firelord, marhowie, ALIRIZA, aido, hummingbird24, AndyB, anavazao, jeanpaul, scottevers7, ellis49, Janice, ramthakur, Jannie, thistle, peter_stoeckl, Aramok, coasties, Merlin, SunToucher, goutham_ramesh, Dando, sAner, Athila, dantor, Gudule, Shoot_Score, jmp, Dyker, Leace, Rehanna, Miss_Piggy, Aaltjie, betsie has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Aaltjie: Empty spaceloot 2 05-30 06:37
To Shoot_Score: Covering the basesloot 3 01-05 20:10
To b8264d: Hello b8264dloot 2 01-05 08:52
To gerhardt: Welcome visitorloot 1 04-12 22:18
To ScottHale: Scott & Scottloot 2 04-11 20:21
To manyee: WOWSunToucher 1 04-08 15:55
To manyee: WOWloot 2 04-08 03:02
To aido: Human likeloot 2 04-07 04:20
To Janice: No bulliesloot 1 04-07 03:39
To ellis49: Special poseloot 1 04-06 23:15
To hummingbird24: Heart wrenchingloot 1 04-06 21:35
To scottevers7: Laughter vs sadnessloot 2 04-06 21:30
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Critiques [Translate]

LOL! Well you have certainly captured his mood beautifully, Loot! I love it!

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-04-06 14:11]

Hallo Loot , Wat een lief aapje ,hij heeft het niet makkelijk
hij vind zijn eigen heel zielig ,hij heeft een standje gehad van zijn meerdere ,maar heel mooie foto , i like it ,fijn weekend ,Teunie .

Hello Loot ,
What a pretty shot, lovely. POV, nice colors, details and framing are excellent. Well done. Congratulations...
Ali Rıza

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-04-06 15:29]
  • [+]

Hi Loot,
They are so human it's sometimes frightening. A great shot, doesn't it want to make you sit next to him and tell him everything is not so bad and tomorrow is another day? Poor little fella! A great moment to capture and an interesting and informative note, great post.

Wow, very intense shot! This monkey seems to thinking, but what!
I think you captured a particular expressive moment. Nice shot!
Bye Tom

Hello Loot,

You have managed to capture a very touching moment which, as Adrian has mentioned, inspires the viewer (me) to want to put my arm around his little shoulders and give some consolation...

And yes, as Adrian has also mentioned, it is a bit frightening how much they are like us.

An excellent and heart wrenching image.

Thank you for sharing it with us!

It's so cute! Great pose! Good details, light, compositon...
Good work!
Thanks Ana:)

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  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2006-04-06 17:52]

Hello Loot,
A great capture.
I love its expression and pose.
Well chosen dof and nice detail.
Excellent work and a great note.


A moment well captured
Baie mooi

Bonjour Loot
Très jolie la présentation les couleurs et les détails sont très beaux. Ce petit seinge a l'air vraiment songeur.
Bravo et merci....JP

Hi Loot,
I did not know if I should laugh, or feel sad for this little guy. This shot is priceless! The expression and body language tell the story. You just filled in some details. Perfect exposure. Great tight crop and framing! I ony wish I could give you 100 pts, for this. It is a classic in my book!
Exceptional photograph my friend!

Hi loot,
this is a beautiful shot.
The POV and specally the pose are more than great.
Well composed and good details.
Excellent work, my friend.

He looks so sad and thoughtful, like he should be on one of those inspirational posters you see in the schools, with some cute saying. Very nice capture, I like the tight crop, putting the emphasis directly on his great expression. Well done.

  • Great 
  • reina Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 257 W: 1 N: 330] (2032)
  • [2006-04-07 0:23]

Hi Loot, nice shot. They seem so innocent but now I now what a trouble these guys can be. Taken in mind that its us humans who make the trouble by feeding them.
Good details and information on the habitat etc. Thanks for sharing reina

Ah Loot, this dear little fellow's in trouble... You show his unhappy expression so well. Look at his eyes, so sad. And those little fingers holding his head up. Couldn't you take him home with you? Just kidding!! I hope they treated him better later and weren't just behaving like bullies to him.
It's a beautiful shot showing the young baboon so well.
Thanks Loot, and especially for teh interesting notes too. Well done,

Okay, Loot, you have done it this time. : )
I just adore this picture.
This is a look that I recognize all too well... the downcast eyes and bowed head reflecting the sadness at being momentarily deprived of the love and approval that he so craves; one hand in the mouth and the other scratching his head, denoting innocent bewilderment at the vociferous and incomprehensible reprimand, the crossing of the feet that is indicative of utter sheepishness...
You have managed to capture all these feelings in this one shot... with technical perfection... and soulful artistry.
In fact, you did it so well that you have erased the boundary between baboons and humans. The emotions you so skillfully portrayed have transcended the animal realm, and we at TN are all wrapped up with this little fella's psychological well-being.
That is the highest tribute to a photographer. : )
Congratulations, my friend. : )

Hi Loot!
What a superb animal behaviour documentation! Never thought it could resemble human behaviour to that extent. The fellow looks quite chastized and anxious on that account! Thanks for sharing this superb picture.
Your account of the events is hilarious and informative.

Great capture Loot. I feel sorry for him allready. The expression on his face is priceless.

Very well captured and TFS

Hello Loot,
This is an incredible capture, such a lovely moment. I can't take my eyes out of that face. Picture has great details, perfect POV and framing.
I like it a lot!

  • Great 
  • Aramok Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 896 W: 101 N: 1501] (5166)
  • [2006-04-07 10:52]

I'm not sure you really need telling how much we all like this shot. All I can see is DITTO to everyting above.

Very nicely done.

  • Great 
  • osse Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 89] (7805)
  • [2006-04-07 13:49]

Hi Loot
Very intense and funny shot.Looks like he lost momething.Well seen and captured.
Good coloue detail,sharpnes ,POVand NOTE.
Well done


Hi Loot

A penny for his thoughts!

A wonderful shot. It certainly has the look and feel of a youngster in 'deep doodoo'. You have portrayed the scene extremely well and the composition is excellent. Congrats! It's outstanding!

Hi Loot,
very, very charming portrait.
Perfect pose, a real piece of fine art.
Rodin's thinker at his best.
Very good story on body language.
Outstanding contribution. Thank you!
Best regards,

It's pretty much all been said above, but it's striking how we can "read" the body language of other primates - I guess we are not so different after all! Excellent..
Thanks, Nigel.

This is a great shot Loot.
Excellent focus and composition and the colors are great.
Good POV and BG.
You capture something that is very difficult to do, in this picture. The intelligence of these animals. The little monkey looks like it has a lot to think about,…”the wisdom of the young.”

Hi Loot,
The story and photo are just excellent. What an amazing moment you've managed to capture this time. There is no need for a digital shoebox, if you can come up with these kind of masterpieces. It just shows us how close humans are related with monkeys and how much their behaviour is still in us. This one is added to my favorites as well.

P.S. I totally agree with Manyee. You have just done the most amazing capture!!

Hi Loot,

What an expression filled shot, with a very useful note, indeed it looks like he is serious trouble, this expression reminds me of My team couple of years back when we had screwed up the Software and were in the board room with top management!!

Superb shot , i like the compostion and the POV
Goutham R

you got him there...fantastic animal contemplative shot...almost human..
wonder if they get bills as well...:D
cheers loot

  • Great 
  • TPAKT Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 97 W: 21 N: 20] (89)
  • [2006-04-10 12:44]

Privet Loot.
So millions years ago the monkey has reflected... also became reasonable. Magnificent work. Bravo!

Excellent Loot!! I noticed a little movement with his hand but I figure he was scatching his head wondering how he was going to get out of the mess he was in.

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  • soccer Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 587 W: 0 N: 655] (2557)
  • [2006-04-11 10:29]

An stunning pic and well captured moment. This is a rare opportunity that you have captured well with a great Composition, POV and sharpness.


Sometimes photo's are so good you hear it from a friend while your driving down the road. My good friend and fellow Trek member - Scott Evers told me about this photo and I had to come see for myself. He's right, it's outstanding. The notes are very important to the story and the technical aspect are fine as well. Great Post...very tender...nice work.

Hello Loot,
This is very good mf. Excellent sharpness, detail, exposure, DOF and POV. Terrific pose and expression captured. The slight motion blur of the left hand, as it scratch's it's head in contemplation, adds IMO.
Deep trouble..I know the feelin'
Time to get a 6 month extension on my tax debt :(
Well done!

  • Great 
  • Dando Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 637 W: 32 N: 792] (3084)
  • [2006-04-12 7:33]

Hi Loot, this photo is what nature photography is all about, capturing those magic moments. This is a truly excellent shot, one that we can all relate to. All technically spot on. TFS.

Hi Loot, I trust you are well. You have built up quite a portfolio here. Its always nice to see fellow SA's here on TN.

This pose and pov is very good. Lots of impact in the mood it creates. Cuteness facto in the red though. :) Very well done.

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2006-04-13 6:37]

Hi there,

The expression of this monkey is priceless. Very, very adorable! It really looks like he's thinking he's in deep, deep trouble. :) Wonderful shot, sharp focus and perfect DOF & POV. Well done & TFS!


  • Great 
  • Gudule Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 248 W: 11 N: 288] (1204)
  • [2006-04-24 10:08]

What I may add to what is mentioned higher? Everything is said. A great moment for an excellente expression. Bravo.


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  • Adam73 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 208 W: 5 N: 522] (2253)
  • [2006-06-16 19:39]

I can't get enough of this little guy. He seems so stressed. :) Nice detail and good lighting.

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  • b8264d (20)
  • [2007-01-04 16:41]
  • [+]

Now that is a look I have seen often on my son's face. Very nice capture. The one thing I find a little distracting, though it doesn't ruin the image for me, is the hand on his head seems to be a little blurry.

Loot, I think you found and shot the archtype for Rodin's THINKER...

So we have covered all the bases now, from The Simpsons to Rodin!

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-01-06 12:49]

Hi Loot,
I saw this photo in other's critics and I find it very good and interesting. It's clear that this young monkey feels and its pose and face are quite expresive. A portrait for a psychiatrist's surgery.
Best regards, José M.

so human, so cute, TFS Ori

Hi Loot,

What a dear little fellow and what a superb animal behaviour documentation. It's look like Discovery Channel or Animal Planet. Wonderful shot, sharp focus and perfect DOF & POV. Well done. Regards and TFS Bob

  • Great 
  • Arjun Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 358 W: 7 N: 1237] (7593)
  • [2007-08-19 10:45]

hi loot,
its beautiful.

Hello Loot

Ag moeder hart, hoe hou jy dit. Hierdie is presies dit wat een van die ander komentators van geskryf het as "soulful artistry". Sy som dit egter goed en akuraat op wanneer sy sê dat jy die grense tussen die mens en dier oorbrug het. Kostelik, voortreflik, en uiterste vermaak.


My friend Loot
Since the space for a new posting remains empty I'll have to return to one of your older postings, but I also realise I am also going to be in big big trouble like this little fellow if I do not stop to pester you for new postings. This guy's facial expression is very heartfelt and I actually feel very sorry for him. I can imagine the sheer pleasure both you and Anna had watching this episode taking place as you have described in your notes. Lovely, lovely, lovely. As I said in my earlier comment, you are a clever guy, and here I think you are a talented guy capturing this little one's motions, but you still remain very slow when it comes to the postings. Ok I won't mention that again.....Well anyway not again today, maybe tomorrow.
Warmest regards

Totally awesome capture! Such human-like qualities of these animals really does give credibility to the theory that humans are descended from apes! The expression and body language of this wee chap really steals your heart. Well done.

Hallo Loot
I really cannot say anything else except "Ag Shame- Hoe Fraai!" and "Die arme ou ding." Unbelievable beautiful and so innocently looking. That facial expression counts for a few smileys. Although one tend to feel sorry for this little fellow this image has a high cuteness factor for me. Images like these is what make the world of photoraphy so wonderful. Everything of this image is just great, and I cannot find any fault. Thank you very much for sharing. It was most enjoyable reliving this episode.

Hierdie was nog altyd my gunsteling foto. Kan nie glo 'n aap kan soveel emosie toon nie!

Dear Loot
Here are some more suggestions for the misery of this little chap: he might have lost out on the kill. Apparently, Chacma Baboon are less cooperative than other baboons when hunting small game.

He could also have suffered from tummy-ache. It has been observed, Chacma Baboons eating highly poisonous plants - which in humans cause mania, convulsions and death - and nobody knows, how they are able to neutralize the poison. (Macaws eat kaolin on riverbanks...)

Another possibility might have been, he getting a good fright. I have seen myself little baboons stealing ostrich eggs, being caught by a female and running virtually for their life, screaming hysterically. IT IS terrifying having an ostrich chasing you - with both wings spread out - and getting closer and closer.

It is a delightful documentary - technically perfect (as is your whole portfolio) - and I add it to my theme "Animal Behaviour".
I wish you a good evening
Kind regards

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