By Ian Smith. [First winner of Image Review 4.] A ‘Snow Monkey’, or ‘Japanese Macaque’ (Macaca fuscata), looking rather wistful, near Nagano in Japan (the only place in the world where monkeys bathe in hot springs). You can’t help wondering what it’s thinking.


Canon 60D; 100-400mm L IS II USM; 1/400s; f/6.3; ISO 125

Don’s response

My initial reaction to Ian Smith’s “The Wistful Snow Monkey” was a reflexive: ‘Another Japanese Macaque shot’, I thought – and I moved on to the other submissions. And yet, there was something about it that drew me back again and again even as I sifted through the other photographs.

I’m not quite sure what the x-factor is for me, but if pressed, I’d say that it has something to do with the gravity of the Macaque’s expression and the formal quality of the composition.

There is a quiet dignity emanating from this beautiful portrait that connects us across the species barrier to a fellow being.


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