Scavenger Hunt - Round 26 - Monkey BTS

13 October, 2019

Monkey is definitely one of my favourite images this round! It is also a good example that less isn’t always more 😉 My concept for it evolved from a simple detail shot of an ape’s face and hand to something quite complex, involving costumes, props and compositing.

I know what some of you are thinking now: “Wait a minute, an ape isn’t a monkey!”, so I’ll stop you right there. First of all, this is an issue of some debate (examples here and here), but more importantly, it is my artistic choice, so I simply don’t care 😁

ape vs. monkey

I decided to use a Gorilla costume instead of a shot of a real monkey/ape taken in the zoo, but I was missing a story-telling element. At some point, my brainstorming led me to Darwin and his evolutionary theory and from there to a Gorilla reading Darwin’s book “On the Origin of Species”. In my first shots, I was wearing the complete Gorilla outfit, which was a hairy (and sweaty!) affair... It closes at the back, so you can imagine my wife’s face when I came down the stairs and asked her to zip me up 😂

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The idea evolved further and I added a suit, top hat, glasses and a cigar. But something was still missing and so instead of shooting myself sitting in the middle of the couch, I placed myself off-center, stitched together a 19th century wallpaper and added a picture of Darwin 🙃 The finishing touches were the smoke brush to make the crooked frame and a image more dynamic.

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  • Maayan Windmuller

    on December 3, 2019

    Oops, somehow your comment slipped by me... Thank you Bretta! The smoke is a PS Bruch I downloaded for free at I think it was in this pack:

  • Bretta Elmore

    on October 26, 2019

    So fabulous Maayan!!!! One of my faves in the album! Love your process of evolving the shot!! (see what I did there?!) ;)
    Quick question.....How did you add the smoke?? Is that some kind of magical trick in PS or do you have smokey photos kust lying around for use in your compositions??

  • Maayan Windmuller

    on October 20, 2019

    Thanks so much Ginnie! Now that you mention it, sweating does indeed occur during the making of a lot of my images... 🤔😂

  • Ginnie Lerch

    on October 14, 2019

    Oh, it is so satisfying to get the backstory. But oh my, you really suffer for your art! All that sweating! And you still had to think and sweat! It really paid off because this was such an excellent image. I love all the deep-thoughtful props in your image. Makes that impact a punch! Thanks! Ginnie

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