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Original

monkeyscottstake

Scott’s take

I like the suggestions we received on the forum. My own opinion probably most closely mirrors Stuart Forsyth who says:

“Here is my take, I really think the face, caught in the contemplative moment of nibbling on that leaf is the essence of this photo, and feel a closer crop and the removal of the colour with a B&W conversion works best for me.”

I agree with all of the above – but the one big problem I have with the image as shot by the photographer relates to the foot. You really don’t ever want to cut off the animal’s feet (or similarly a human’s foot) at the bottom of the frame. It’s extremely uncomfortable from a compositional point of view. If you want to cut that off, do so in a way that makes me certain you WANTED to cut that off. Here it dangles off the edge like it was a simple oversight. This is a fine level of detail for a critique outside a group of professionals, but I wanted to share this point anyway because it applies to good pictures period.

In my take – I cropped tightly – even more tightly than Stuart did. I also like the B&W treatment but could easily have left it in color and perhaps punched up the orange for some contrast over all the green in the photo.

I removed the second set of catchlights in the monkey’s eyes. This is a pet peeve of mine. One sun – one set of catchlights. I also opened up the eyes just a tad with the Dodge tool in Photoshop and burned down the background a little to bring the viewer’s attention to the subject. I also burned down some of the hot spots in the photo and in one case behind the monkey’s head, cloned out a hotspot that was over exposed.

Well done all around. Remember, there’s no right answer here. It’s all a learning exercise.

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