In winter, Japanese macaques in the Jigokudani Valley of central Japan congregate in the hot-spring pools, to stay warm and to socialize. The colder it gets in the mountains, the more of them head for the pools. I found about 30 macaques enjoying a steamy soak, their heads covered in fresh snow.
The warm water has a very relaxing effect on the monkeys, and most of them were asleep. I watched with delight as this youngster became increasingly drowsy and eventually closed its eyes. I used a close-up shot to capture the moment of tranquility and to emphasize the human likeness in both face and pleasure.
Location: Jigokudani Monkey Park, Yamanouchi, Japan
Photograph Date: 2012
Medium: Chromogenic Print
Available Sizes: 70cm to 150cm