stuffAboutHockey
stuffAboutHockey

Stuff Not Really About Hockey But I Thought You Might Like Anyway



Amur Snow Leopard - Philadelphia Zoo
| Although my mom was with me when I shot this, I've had to explain to her a few times that Amur SNOW Leopard...
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Amur Snow Leopard - Philadelphia Zoo
| Although my mom was with me when I shot this, I've had to explain to her a few times that Amur SNOW Leopard isn't supposed to have the vibrant orange fur of the Amur Leopard that she's used to seeing. She doesn't remember seeing the very light furry Snow Leopard [colored to blend in amongst the Northern [SNOW Covered] areas of the world where it's located natively.
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4 Comments | Report
njkerosky PRO+
 
njkerosky December 09, 2014
Amazing!!!...Purrfect for my new "I Love Cats!" Photo Challenge. Please check it out on my Gallery page.
njkerosky PRO+
 
njkerosky December 09, 2014
Amazing!!!...Purrfect for my new "I Love Cats!" Photo Challenge. Please check it out on my Gallery page.
CBD4Charity
 
CBD4Charity November 10, 2015
THERE IS SO MANY CAPTIONS YOU CAN PUT ON THE PHOTO ABOUT THIS LEOPARD ITS JUST AMAZING ;) THESE ARE JUST STUNNING CREATURES !!
stuffAboutHockey
 
stuffAboutHockey November 27, 2015
Thanks !!

Behind The Lens

Location
I shot this at the Philadelphia Zoo at their new habitat for their cats.
Time
It was around dusk, about 5PM in the afternoon.
Lighting
The lighting wasn't too great and I'm still figuring out how to work the camera so I had to enhance the exposure and coloring in Photoshop after the photo was shot.
Equipment
I have a Canon Rebel T5i with an EFS 55-250 mm IS lens. It was done hand-held without a flash.
Inspiration
I'd been trying to learn sports photography so my camera had a lot of the settings configured for the Ice Hockey rink. When I went to the zoo with my mom & dad, I thought it would be fun to try and take photos of some of the animals. I tried to change the settings for the outdoor, somewhat darker environment with a slower shutter speed than I needed for sports. I used the multi-shot function on the camera and took a lot of shot at one time hoping one of them would come out nice, especially since I was shooting hand-held with a long lens. This one happened to come out really sweet, with the Snow Leopard's eyes sort of leering at me.
Editing
I'm still learning about all of the camera settings so I didn't have the exact right exposure. Shooting hand-held with a long lens also makes it difficult to get a clear shot, so I do a lot of post-processing. I'm a lot better at using the computer to edit the images than I probably am at taking them in the first place. With photoshop I was able to adjust the exposure and bring out the colors. Although it's a Snow Leopard [white-ish fur, not the bright orange of normal leopards] there's still a lot of color variation to him [or her] that I wanted to bring out. I had a few copies printed and there's a bit too much blue-ish tone or chromatic aberration around the edges of his [or her] fur I probably should have fixed, but aside from that I was really happy with the coloring. Although I used a slightly lower shutter speed than I usually shoot with, the ISO was somewhat high on the image, so there was some image noise I had to get rid of. I used Neat Image to remove some of the image noise. I manually selected the area behind the leopard and added a little Gaussian blue to those rocks to emulate the effect that a lower F-stop lens would have produced. It makes the rocks behind the leopard look much further away with that slight bit of blurring. With the Snow Leopard and front rock layer [manually] selected ['foreground', I did some sharpening. I also applied a light HDR-type effect to the selected 'foreground' portion of the image to make the leopard and the front rocks really 'pop' and enhance the details.
In my camera bag
I've been trying to shoot ice hockey game but don't have a media pass which means I can't bring in a tripod or a professional-type lens like the professional photographers, so there isn't much in my bag except for my Canon Rebel T5i and EFS 55-250 mm IS lens. I have another lens that came with the camera but don't use it a lot. I keep a lens brush, extra [charged] batteries and spare SD card in my bag, as well as my 'purse' items since I sort of have to sneak the camera in. [The arena's policy is no detachable lens camera allowed without a media pass - but they don't enforce it too much]. The only other camera-ish thing I've tried working with is a polarized filter. I have to shoot through the glass which often has a reflection and the players often wear visors on their helmets which reflect a lot of the colored lights in the arena. The polorized filter helps cut-down on the light reflections from the glass and on their visors but takes away a lot of the arena's light. [The arena just switched to these really bright LED lights, so normally the lighting isn't too bad without a flash, although the professional photographers sometimes still use strobes - not as often as they used to with the old lighting system]. The lower light means using a higher ISO in order to use the faster shutter speed required for ice hockey - which results in a lot of extra image noise. Trying to remove the extra image noise, along with the inability to keep the camera perfectly still because I can't use a tripod takes away a lot of the sharpness of the image - so there's a bit of a trade off there.
Feedback
Just play and experiment with the settings on your camera. At least for what I am shooting, both sports and the animals, a flash wouldn't be helpful because the subjects are too far away, so I've hardly ever used my flash. When shooting ice hockey, I'll manually set the white balance using the ice or boards before the players come out to skate. With the animals at the zoo it was a little more difficult to set the white balance, I think I used it on Auto or outdoor setting. We were at the zoo late in the afternoon so I had to adjust it a lot as well. I found most of my mistakes were easily correctable with PhotoShop, although I'd recommend using as low of an ISO as you possibly can while still getting well lit images as the image noise can be hard to get rid of. If you're using a tripod and shooting still objects, there's ways to get around the image noise from a high ISO, but with moving animals, hockey players and shooting hand-held - you can't use the layering technique to clean up image noise. I'd recommend using a tripod, I don't have one since I can't bring it with me anyway, but I imagine it'd be a little easier to get sharper images. Also keep in mind if you're taking photos at your local zoo, without a property release [which I image is hard to get] from the zoo, you can't use photos of the animals or zoo grounds for commercial purposes. :)

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