Gelada baboons at Bristol Zoo’s Wild Place.

Quoting for a job sometimes includes contingencies such as: time delays, extra insurance, hiring specialised equipment etc. Hourly rates include a reasonable time for post-production, which if the job is executed right shouldn’t take too long.

 Sometimes though, a visually jarring element in a photo doesn’t register on the shoot. A case being: a photo-call for Dick Whittington at the Bristol Hippodrome. I thought it a good idea to take Barbara Windsor and the rest of the cast out the back of the venue because the streets have a certain ‘Olde Worlde’ look with narrow cobbled streets and Victorian lamps making a suitable backdrop. Not until the selection process did I register the double yellow lines down both sides of the streets, adding an extra day to ‘disappear’ them in post-production; something I had not priced for.

 I’ve been caught out again. I spent a wonderful couple of hours photographing eight male Gelada baboons at Bristol Zoo’s Wild Place just released into their new enclosure.

 A certain amount of ‘posturing’ among the primates was inevitable as they established themselves in their new territory. This took two main forms. One was a certain amount of teeth baring, the other, a fine display of virility from their masculine regions.

 Such behaviour is completely natural, even if it’s just off the M4, and these images accompanied with a calm reassuring voiceover by Sir David Attenborough would obviously be educational. However, such an audacious display of ‘monkeyhood’ could be deemed a distraction, leading possibly to pointing, giggling and maybe even fainting.

 The photos being shown are therefore a digitally sanitised version of the originals, another contingency I didn’t price for.

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