Forget Photoshop, what you're looking at is the real deal -- a Japanese Snow Monkey just chllin' in some water using an iPhone. The photo above (used with permission) was taken by the talented and award winning Dutch photographer Marsel van Oosten at the Jigokudani Monkey Park in Japan.
As you might imagine, there's an interesting story behind this incredible photo of a Snow Monkey, which are otherwise known as Japanese macaques.
Writing for 500px, Klassy Goldberg caught up with van Oosten who detailed how the shot came to be. While visiting the park earlier this year, van Oosten was joined by a group of tourists who put the cameras on their iPhones and iPads in overdrive taking photos of the unique and beautiful creatures.
We were standing close to the edge of the hot spring, when one of the tourists started taking shots with her iPhone, moving the phone closer to the macaque after each shot.
Suddenly, the macaque grabbed the iPhone from her hands-and quickly moved away towards the middle of the hot spring!
The owner screamed in agony, but the macaque was too fascinated by its new toy to notice.
The minutes that followed were downright hilarious. Monkeys already resemble humans in so many ways, but when they're holding an iPhone, the similarities are almost scary. At some point, it even managed to let the built-in flash of the iPhone go off. When the macaque decided to do some serious underwater testing, the owner of the phone almost fainted. Meanwhile, I was fully aware that this would result in some of the most original snow monkey shots ever.
Can't argue with that. van Oosten already has a few wildlife photography awards under his belt and the shot above of a Snow Monkey -- perhaps using Facebook or checking up on World Cup scores -- might net him another.
Make sure to check out the photo on the Wildlife Photographer Of The Year competition website. The photo is in the running for the People's Choice Award where you can give it a vote. Hell, maybe the Snow Monkey already voted himself!
As an addendum to the story, van Oosten told me that the iPhone was eventually recovered but was no longer working.