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Thread: Leopard in the wild

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Leopard in the wild

    I think it is pretty well everyone who visits sub-Saharan Africa wishes to see the "big five", a term that comes from the big game hunting days and refers to the five animals that were most difficult to hunt on foot; the lion, the elephant, the Cape buffalo, the rhino and the leopard.

    We were driving along a dirt road (more of a one lane track really) in Namibia's Etosha National Park last December, when we stopped so that my wife could take some pictures of a herd of wildebeest. I just happened to glance in the rear-view mirror of the truck and spotted the shadow of a cat crossing the road behind us.

    The wildebeest were quickly forgotten, as we turned the truck around and cruised the 200m - 300m section of road where we thought the large cat might be. My wife spotted some movement in a bush and we parked beside it and waited. After about 20 minutes, this leopard emerged from it's hiding place; it was tracking a herd of impala. I literally drove along the track in reverse, taking pictures through the open rear passenger window; one hand on the steering wheel and the camera in the other hand.

    This is one of the best shots that I got:

    Leopard in the wild

    That was a real rush, and of course have a good shot to prove it doesn't hurt either.... The big cat was so close that I was able to shoot with my f/2.8 70-200mm lens.

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    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Re: Leopard in the wild

    Having recently spent a day and half on safari in Sri Lanka unsuccessfully searching for a leopard, I am very jealous!

    Nice capture given the circumstances!

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    Re: Leopard in the wild

    I'm not sure whether to compliment you on your one-hand camera technique or your one-hand driving technique. It's an amazing image considering the circumstances.

    Consider warming up the image to eliminate the strong blue cast.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Leopard in the wild

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    I'm not sure whether to compliment you on your one-hand camera technique or your one-hand driving technique. It's an amazing image considering the circumstances.

    Consider warming up the image to eliminate the strong blue cast.
    Strong blue cast? It's quite neutral to slightly warm on my calibrated monitor.

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    mstrozewski's Avatar
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    Re: Leopard in the wild

    I see a green-ish cast, but it still looks good.

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    Re: Leopard in the wild

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Strong blue cast? It's quite neutral to slightly warm on my calibrated monitor.
    Interesting. I don't see that at all on my calibrated monitor using Firefox. What browser are you using?

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    Re: Leopard in the wild

    I expect you had to take this as quick as you could. It was good to be in the right place at the right time. I am just wondering if there was a chance to get more images. The branch above the leopards head is not separated anough and the rear left leg is slightly hidden. Was there a chance to take any more pictures as the leopard moved out further from the tree stump. The background is a little bright, but I wish I had had the chance to be there.

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    Re: Leopard in the wild

    Hi Manfred, first very lucky and second well done on capturing the image. Under circumstances like these there is no thought given to composition etc, the only object is get the picture before the cat disappears. Living in Africa for most of my life I have a handful of rushed Leopard shots.
    I love the stance/pose and as mentioned above I do see a slight bluish tinge, going by the shadows was this around mid-day, maybe a WB adjustment might help?

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Leopard in the wild

    Clive is quite right; the shot was not taken in a zoo, but rather out in the wild while the leopard was tracking a small herd of impala and it was definitely using the surroundings as camouflage. There was a lot of scrub, small trees, etc. between me and the leopard. The whole sequence between the time the leopard emerged from the bush it was hiding in and when it broke off the hunt and disappeared from view lasted just a few minutes.

    I do have a few other nice ones, but I don't like the pose nearly as much as during this very brief stop; one with the leopard walking and some others of it having a drink out of a puddle on the road after it broke off the hunt.

    I'll have to recalibrate my monitor again, because when I look at the image, it looks neutral with a hint of being a tiny bit warm. Just a question to the experts out there; I usually use AdobeRGB colour space in my workflow (which is much better for printing on my printer); could this colour issue be an sRGB / AdobeRGB issue? Should be manually converting to sRGB before doing my final adjustments for posting on the web?

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    Re: Leopard in the wild

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    I usually use AdobeRGB colour space in my workflow (which is much better for printing on my printer); could this colour issue be an sRGB / AdobeRGB issue? Should be manually converting to sRGB before doing my final adjustments for posting on the web?
    There are at least a couple of factors.

    One is that you are using Adobe RGB for posting on the Internet. Anyone using Microsoft Internet Explorer prior to Version 9 (if I remember the version number correctly) won't view it accurately. That's because any previous version is not color-managed. To be safe about expecting others to see the same colors that you're seeing is to always embed sRGB when posting on the Internet. In some software, there is a distinction between "embedding" and "converting" color spaces. If so, always embed.

    Another factor, of course, is that many people (I suspect most people) are not using calibrated monitors. Just this morning my calibrating software automatically informed me that my calibration is two weeks old and needs to be redone. It will take all of 5 minutes to do so...but alas I have not yet re-calibrated. Shame on me.

    A third factor is the browser one is using. I recently learned here on CiC from personal experience that Internet Explorer V9 does not display photos accurately. It was reported by Donald that Google's Chrome was also not displaying my image correctly. It was recommended that I use Firefox and doing so solved 95% of those issues, though I still have one aspect of configuring Firefox to explore.

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    Re: Leopard in the wild

    Very nice image whatever the circumstances. Certainly hairy from your description.

    As for the colour cast, I see it only on the tree sort of cyan/green.
    Last edited by Bobobird; 25th September 2012 at 06:58 AM.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Leopard in the wild

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    Interesting. I don't see that at all on my calibrated monitor using Firefox. What browser are you using?
    Mike - I'm using Firefox as well, but when I use Internet Explorer 9, there is a cyan cast in the shaded area of the tree. I thought IE 9 was colour managed, but obviouly something is not working quite right here. What I see on Firefox is darn close to what I see on my monitor with Photoshop.

    It doesn't seem to be an AdobeRGB versus sRGB issue either; I posted another image that I converted to sRGB and the Firefox version looks good and the IE9 has a green / cyan cast. I converted the image using the "Save for web" menu selection in Photoshop and the convert to sRGB box was ticked off. I chose the image deliberately because of thei high white content, as any colour cast would pop out for all to see.

    Acrobat - a natural high key image

    Does anyone know what is happening here??? I thought both Firefox and IE9 were colour managed browsers.

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    Re: Leopard in the wild

    They are both color-managed, but I can attest from personal experience that IE9 does not display the image as accurately as Firefox. To test the accuracy of any browser display, make a screenshot of the image. Load the screenshot in your image editor and blow it up until you can easily see individual pixels. Do the same with the image file initially stored on your computer, using the same area of the image of course. You'll probably see the color differences by simply visually comparing the two displays. Next, select a pixel in one of the displays with a color picker and record the RGB values. Select the same pixel in the other display and record the RGB values. I'm willing to bet that they will be different.

    When I do that comparing Firefox's display with the original image, there is still a difference but not as much of a difference as when using IE9. I'm going to go right now to look up something about that. I'll get back to you later.

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    Re: Leopard in the wild

    Beautiful image manfred. I see a green cast on my monitor.

    How's this version look on your monitor. I corrected the color cast by adding magenta. I also warmed the image up a tad by adding some saturation with LAB mode and also by adding a touch of yellow. Added a slight vignette to make the cat pop out of the background a little more................



    Leopard in the wild

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    Re: Leopard in the wild

    Sorry, Manfred, but I couldn't find what I was looking for. Some one posted somewhere about a default setting in Firefox that can be improved and I'll be darned if I can find it. On a related subject, check out the following thread that explains how and when I first came upon the issue that we're discussing: Casting a long shadow

    Steve: On my system, I like the color balance a lot more. I also like the other post-processing adjustments that you made. The animal really pops now.

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    Re: Leopard in the wild

    Ah ha! I just now found the information I was looking for. I had forgotten that it was on a different forum. Unfortunately, I don't have time now to pour over the information. Once I do, I'll get back to you.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Leopard in the wild

    Other images seem to come out fine; I'll do another recalibration, but have found that the monitor has been so darn stable that I see very little difference between calibration runs. On the old CRT monitor, frequent recalibration made a lot of difference. Other images I've posted seem to be spot on, so I'll have to see what happens.

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    Re: Leopard in the wild

    Manfred,

    The following information is the stuff that I looked for earlier today:

    "With Firefox v15.0 the required setting of "about.config" is gfx.color_management.enablev4 = TRUE.
    By default this useful setting is switched OFF!."

    The problem is that I don't understand anything about it. I can't even figure out how to determine the version of Firefox that I'm using. Hopefully you and others will find the information helpful. If so, maybe you can explain it in layman's terms to dummies like me, not that anyone else is such a dummy.

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    Re: Leopard in the wild

    Like the photo Manfred, on my monitor it has a slight cyan cast. Steve S adjusted image has certainly increased the saturation which if anything has made the cyan cast on the dead tree even more pronounced. Aren't prints great?- people see them as you want them to. Not sure you need so much room above the dead tree.

    P.S. How many reverse gears did you have to contend with?

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Leopard in the wild

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    Beautiful image manfred. I see a green cast on my monitor.

    How's this version look on your monitor. I corrected the color cast by adding magenta. I also warmed the image up a tad by adding some saturation with LAB mode and also by adding a touch of yellow. Added a slight vignette to make the cat pop out of the background a little more................
    I'm going to have to check the calibration on my monitor; with your correction I see a magenta cast and the ground has completely the wrong tonality.

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