EMERGING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Where’s the Monkey?

David J. Carol


©DAVID J. CAROL


I look at a lot of photographs, whether its for judging contests, doing a portfolio review, consulting privately with a photographer, doing workshops or just for fun. There are so many things necessary to make a compelling and interesting photograph. But for this article I will focus on my most important criteria for a great photo. Its the "Wheres the Monkey?" question. It goes back to when I was a student at SVA. I was looking at photographs at the Light Gallery in NYC when it struck me. It was a picture by Garry Winogrand of an interracial couple walking together each holding "little kids" in their arms. The kids were two monkeys dressed in peoples clothes. There it was!! The picture was slightly interesting by 1960s standards I guess because they were interracial and she had a funny hairdo and scarf on her head. But that wasn't enough, it was the monkeys.  Winogrand found a lot of "Monkeys"!!! So the next time you are out shooting landscapes, street shots, portraits, concerts or pretty much anything else, keep an eye out for the "monkey." It will separate your photo from the thousands of OK pictures and put it in the "There's the Monkey" league of great photos!

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