Selection of January 2023: Soul to Soul by by Johan Siggesson

Soul to Soul by Johan Siggesson

This photo was created in Jigokudani, Japan. This was my second visit to this location. I had been there for a couple of days back in 2017 but this time around I had a specific aim of creating a number of portraits during my visit. The Japanese macaques spend time in this valley, especially during winter. They have learnt to take advantage of the warm water and steam from the geothermal springs in the area during the cold winter months. Apart from the steam and the warm water, another way of keeping warm is snuggling up in the warm fur of another monkey, and that is one of the portraits I was after.

The aim with the shot was to isolate the face of the young monkey and encapsulate it by the fur of its mother. It proved harder than I thought, to be honest. I wanted the eyes to be clear and wide open, not obstructed by any fur. I also wanted to see both eyes and not only one. Also, I did not want the other monkeys face in the picture. I often came across monkeys that were too relaxed and sleepy, barely opening their eyes, but eventually I got what I was looking for.

Most of my work is meant to hang on a wall as a fine art prints. When this is the case, I allow myself a little bit more freedom of processing than in other cases. The post processing of this image include cropping, dodging and burning, normal contrast and tone adjustment and of course, a B&W conversion. I wanted the face, and especially the eyes of the young monkey to be the absolute focal point in this image, and the adjustments made to the image achieved this.  

Back to list