In the early morning it is still cool in the forest. A group of Assamese macaques cuddle up close to each other on a tree to warm each other up a bit more. The first rays of sunlight peek through the canopy, bathing the monkeys in warm light. The scene was captured by Kittisak Srithorn, field assistant at the DPZ research station in Thailand. The image, titled "Waking up in the forest", won the 2021 Photo Contest Award in the "Originality" category.
Also in the first light of morning, Jana Sophie Wilken, a master's student in DPZ's Social Evolution of Primates research group, photographed a Barbary macaque at the “Affenberg” in Salem. The sun's rays flash through the trees, creating an almost mystical atmosphere. The monkey is keeping a lookout on the branch of a beech tree. In the backlight, only his silhouette can be seen. "Silhouette with a view" is the title of the winning image in the "Aesthetics" category.
From the winning picture in the "Science" category, a rhesus monkey looks at us curiously. The animal has just explored its new experimental environment at the DPZ and is walking straight toward the camera. In the so-called Exploration Room, he can move freely and is observed by the scientists. The white tiled environment as well as the straightforward perspective creates a cold, almost clinical-sterile atmosphere. But this is precisely the appeal of the picture. "Back to the future" is what photographer Irene Lacal has called her shot. She is a scientist in the Sensorimotor Research Group in the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at DPZ.
A total of 72 photos were submitted in 2021 for the photo prize offered by the DPZ Sponsorship Society. The ten best pictures of the three categories could be admired in the foyer and digitally on the intranet since mid-November. The employees of the DPZ voted on their favorite pictures. The photo prizes are endowed with 200 euros per category and are awarded once a year to DPZ employees and guests who like to record their work photographically.