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Thread: Biyamiti Leopard

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    Default Biyamiti Leopard

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    I was extremely fortunate to find a young female leopard who had decided to spend the day amongst some rocks in the dry Biyamiti river. The lucky part was that the vehicle bridge over this river ran right next to the rocks and I got to spend a large amount of time with her. It was very hot and she kept moving and peeking out from behind rocks etc. A truly magical experiance

    Canon 1DX2
    200-400 Canon Lens
    1/320
    F5.6
    ISO400

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Hi Basil, great opening image, Leopards are oh so coolant perhaps my favourite of 'Big Cats'.

    OK, first issue for me is the techs, and I'm speaking from experience with this kit, but I would have gone either default ISO800 or even 1600, if HH as a starting point. Why, well HH it's a lump and you want a good SS, if you are shooting with a Bean bag support then ISO800, IQ want really suffer. If you have really good light then yes drop the ISO, but retain a fast SS, it will do no harm and if you are shooting ETTR then you will achieve the perfect exposure requiring little PP. Just looking at the eyes I think the image may have been slightly under exposed, was it??? I think you could back off very slightly on the sharpening, it appears sharp, but just on the cusp of going slightly crunchy in the ears.

    The LH rock is a killer, it just dominates the whole image, moving more to the right and engaging the TC so you could go tighter I feel would help and avoid cropping.

    You have a good WB and I know exactly where you took it, but I think you could just add a little Vibrance which will perk up the yellow/orange, adding a slight Curves colour adj works, but not essential, just my take.

    Great start, lets see more and don't be afraid to push the ISO, the MK2 laps it up, SS and the cameras histogram are your friends.

    TFS
    Steve
    Post Production: Itís ALL about what you do with the tools and not, which brand of tool you use.

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    Macro and Flora Moderator Jonathan Ashton's Avatar
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    My first reaction was good colours, sharpening on the leopard a tad too much. The background rocks and sand are a little dominant, I wonder if they have any sharpening on them? I would have been tempted to soften the detail in the rocks and sand. If you have enough pixels I would crop a little tighter as Steve did. Colours look good and nice detail in the eye - perhaps this could be enhanced a little further.

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    BPN Member Andreas Liedmann's Avatar
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    Hi Basil ... have you invested in new toys ???
    If so , congrats !!!

    I do agree the Leopard is a special species , so good for you that you had the chance to see and photograph at least one .
    Neat relaxed looking pose of this guy .... I personally would be more than happy , even if the rocks are a bit dominant in the image . That relaxed look to the camera is great and my eyes are drawn into those eyes .
    With a little bit of editing skills .... one can drive the viewers even more into those eyes .

    Tones looking alright , colors can be presented as your OP or as an alternative Steveīs RP which looks more natural and has more life .

    TFS Andreas

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    Thank you everybody for all the really valuable advice and opinions.
    Steve - I think you have improved the image dramatically. I agonized so long over the crop because the rocks are horrible but you have nailed it! Thank you. To be honest i am scared of pushing the ISO above 800-1000 as in my very limited experiance it has still led to a loss of quality HOWEVER you obviously know best and im going to do as you say next time and see how it goes. I dont think the original image was under exposed however it was taken in the shade on a clear sunny day........ Im going to have to go and look up what HH stands for.
    Jonathon - Thank you and I agree with all your points
    Andries - No the equipment is about 2 years old now. Ive just found it so hard to find time to get into the bush and even BLOODY harder to find time to edit images afterwards. However photographing in wild African places is one of my happiest things and it truly soothes my soul/mind/spirit so i am determined to do more of it

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Hi Basil, thanks for the feedback and sharing your concerns in pushing ISO, but can I say, and perhaps Andreas will chime in, is that you have a very good kit set up and the MK2 is really good at high ISO, you just have to have faith in the camera and providing you have set it up correctly, you expose to the right ETTR and don't blow key elements that you will capture a truck load of data. And what is data.... information to process and this will give you a vast gamut to play with in PP. The more you have the better the image will be, but more importantly if exposed ETTR than your ISO is easily controllable.

    Use your Histogram on the LCD never the crappy JPEG image that flashes up, even though you are shooting Raw and get it as far as you can to the right. The image will/may look a bit thin, washed out, but that isn't a problem, just pull the exposure back in PP, obviously tweaking other sliders in the process.

    HH is hand holding, so if you are HH get a good SS ie 1/1600, this will help with any slight movement by you or your subject, could be more ie ISO800 SS 1/3200 it won't hurt. Don't go made, but simply push things unto say ISO3200 and see, practice. You want good SS, the correct f/stop and push the ISO. If the subject is in shade expose for the subject, not the environment, you can deal with that later in PP and the noise will not be an issue.

    However photographing in wild African places is one of my happiest things and it truly soothes my soul/mind/spirit so i am determined to do more of it
    Awesome, sadly it appears plans for us to return are now again on hold as I started to plan for Bots in 2023, as there were some new/interesting locations I had been discussing with a friend of mine.

    Basil, if you ever get stuck shout, we are all here to help.
    Post Production: Itís ALL about what you do with the tools and not, which brand of tool you use.

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    BPN Member Andreas Liedmann's Avatar
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    Hi Basil ... can only echo Steve's thoughts about Iso performance and how to deal with it in conjunction with the 1Dx II . One does not need to be a master in Post processing to get great results ... simple steps to follow that Steve already described a number of times .
    As an example , that there is not only one way to get great results with extreme high Iso usage with the 1Dx ... are Steve and me , at least IMHO . We both have a completely different workflow , using different software .... and get similar results in IQ when it comes to Iso performance ... at least IMHO . Hopefully Steve does agree .... .

    If any questions arise .... shout out , I am willing to share my knowledge

    Cheers Andreas

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Yep, agree Andreas, just keep it simple in relation to PP, no one Software is better than another, they all do the same, but they all have pros & cons.

    Don't ever fear you have a mad question, rest assured we seen it all, and even recently, just beware there is a lot said on the web that is completely wrong, so never worry just ask.
    Post Production: Itís ALL about what you do with the tools and not, which brand of tool you use.

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    Story Sequences Moderator and Wildlife Moderator Gabriela Plesea's Avatar
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    Welcome back dear Basil, so good to see your images again

    Biyamiti a favourite location for me when visiting Kruger... September this year I was only few minutes late to a leopard sighting

    Beautiful female you have here, love the expression and eye contact, she is so relaxed in your presence. Have you more images of her moving about?

    Colours and tonality look good in the OP, but I must say, Steve's RP takes it up a notch - I think the colour of the eyes looks more natural in the RP and that little bit of warmth makes this beauty even more attractive to the viewer.

    Won't repeat all that has already been said but overall I agree with comments above. Just very happy to see you back in the Wildlife Forum and hope you find the time to share more of your lovely images.

    Have you been to the Kalahari lately? I have not forgotten those amazing lion images of yours - can we have some, pretty please?

    Kind regards,
    Gabriela Plesea

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    Hi Gabriela - THANK YOU so much for such a kind message - I am very very grateful. I have not been in the Kgalagadi in 2 or 3 years however i am going in mid Jan for about 10 days which i am obviously looking very forward to

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