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Thread: Stalking Leopard, Masai Mara, Kenya

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    Default Stalking Leopard, Masai Mara, Kenya

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/SzAzju]

    First time posting in this community. Trying to link to my Flickr image. Hope I did both things correctly.

    Nikon D4 Nikkor 600mm f/4 lens beanbag on vehicle
    f/6.3 1/1600 ISO 900

    This image is cropped - there was some grass and an annoying slice of the sky at the top of the image. We couldn't get too close because we didn't want to disturb the Leopard's hunt.

    I processed the raw image in LR. Never could get the color of the grass to look the way I remembered it. Recently took another crack at it, taking my LR file and bringing it into On 1 Photo Raw - Effects. I applied the "Dynamic Contrast - Natural" filter to really bring out the spots on the cat. Then I applied a vignette to darken up the grass around the cat. Both filters were masked - I only put the Dynamic Contrast on the cat, and I made sure the vignette did NOT touch the cat. The On 1 adjustments got the color of the image to what I remember. Happy with it, but I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions.

    If I have missed anything regarding the image or the processing, please let me know. Thank you.

    David

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    Super Moderator Rachel Hollander's Avatar
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    Attached Images Attached Images
     
    Hi David - Welcome to BPN and the Wildlife Forum. Fantastic stalking pose and the point of view (pov) is good. I might go a bit more pano with some off the bottom. Any chance you have a sliver more room on the lhs? I'm not familiar with On 1 Photo Raw or either of the filters you applied. The image seems very yellow and warm. What was your WB setting? Obviously, you were there and would know the colors better but my first step in PP would be to set the WB by finding a mid-grey point. Some of the HLs are hot and blacks bordering on choked. I've simply adjusted the WB and cropped to give you an idea here. It's obviously more difficult to work from the compressed jpeg posted. If you want, you can share the RAW and we might be able to give you more guidance. Btw as a member you can upload your image directly to BPN without the need to post through Flickr. Shout if you need help with how to do so.

    The best way to get the most out of BPN is to become an active member of the community. We recommend posting 3-5 comments on other wildlife images each time you post one of your own. That allows us to all learn from each other and get to know each other's shooting styles a bit. Your comments don't need to be technical in nature. Just tell us what you like or don't like about an image.

    Looking forward to seeing more of your images.

    TFS,
    Rachel

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    Rachel thank you so much for your comments! WB was "As Shot" which was 5200 K. The sun was very low (it was almost 7 pm) and very saturated. Unfortunately NO room on the left side. Had some difficulty just tracking this cat moving so quickly LOL. I like your adjustments to the image and will work on it further, trying to apply your suggestions. Your change to the WB didn't alter the main colors and look more natural. Thanks for the tip regarding commenting on others' images. So focused on getting the post up that I didn't pay attention to that. There is some awesome work on this forum and I'm looking forward to learning a lot. Thank you again!!!

    Best,
    David

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    Super Moderator Rachel Hollander's Avatar
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    My pleasure David. Shout if you have questions or need help.

    Rachel

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Hi David, and another warm welcome.

    A really nice perspective, love the raised front paw and intense stare, there is no doubt what this cat is upto. You don't say if this is FF or cropped, if cropped then more to the LHS and you could loose a bit at the front, but a 16x9 or 10 does work better. You did well not to get distracting grasses over the face, OK there is one, but hardly a deal breaker, nice one. I also like the tail acting as a counter balance with a slight curve at the tip.

    With the D4 then I would have gone to either 1600 or 2000 to get a bit more SS, if this cat bolted you wanted to get the action so 1/2500 SS might have been good to have.

    No idea how far you are down the PP road, but I would keep to LR before adding any Third party software to your workflow, it will lead you astray and the image will begin to loose it's original look & feel as I feel has happened here. ON 1 is OK, but in essence go to Creative Cloud and get PS, yes you will sell your soul, but having both LR & PS will be you best purchase in the long run as you will have so much to build on, then apply any '3rd party' if required later, get the Basic right first. Personally I like to keep to Auto WB, others prefer to pre set the WB at the shooting stage because it can help later at the PP stage, it's what you are comfortable in doing, but after importing to PP you can then fine tune the WB if required. Overall the image is just flooded with Saturation & Vibrance pushing it to Yellow/Green and so you have zero separation between subject and environment. Rachel's RP is better but the greens IMHO are too strong, but I wasn't there. You also need to watch the whites not blowing. I think you are on the cusp without seeing the RAW, so use your Histogram, this is you best Buddy and getting the exposure right here will save you truck loads of time, don't use the back of the camera!!!!

    Make sure you calibrate your monitor at least once a month this will ensure continuity and avoid issues with processing and keep lights to a minimum as this will also cloud you viewing aspect of the image.


    Remember 1000px max height, 1200px max width.


    TFS
    Steve
    Last edited by Steve Kaluski; 04-21-2017 at 04:19 AM.

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    Steve, thank you so much for taking the time and effort to offer these suggestions. I do have PS via CC and am currently taking a course on that application (unfortunately not very far into the course yet!). Solid reminder about monitor calibration. I keep the lights to a minimum and consistent but need to put in the time to calibrate regularly. Appreciate your input!!!

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    Story Sequences Moderator and Wildlife Moderator Gabriela Plesea's Avatar
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    A very warm welcome to BPN Wildlife, David

    And thank you so much for sharing this wonderful capture, the leopard is one of my favourite big cats:)

    Love the subject's slender, elongated body and muscular forequarters, as well as raised paw. Always special to witness a daylight hunt, they are not always successful but this careful stalker seems impatient to get closer to its victim. Would love to know what kind of prey he was after!

    Really enjoyed viewing and hope to see more from you. You already received feedback and good advice from Rachel and Steve, so all I can say for now is try stick to LR and PSCC, keep it simple

    Kind regards,
    Gabriela Plesea

    www.gappimages.com

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    BPN Member haseeb badar's Avatar
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    Welcome David, looking forward to see more from you on this forum . I loved that stalking pose, what a lovely first image to start with. All the mods have already made suggestions on the way to go , keep posting .

    TFS !

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