Caracal 02 Exmoor Zoo-1

Taken at Exmoor Zoo through glass.

Taken at Exmoor Zoo through glass.
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12 Comments | Report
jimdavis_2058 November 21, 2015
Superb shot!
onyanita PRO+
onyanita November 22, 2015
stunning capture. Love the composition, light, colour and dof
ovosphotography November 24, 2015
like it!
artemiopascua November 28, 2015
so simple so powerful nice work
anashortspin December 06, 2015
wonderful image.
Ottovan January 07, 2016
mihrt PRO+
mihrt January 20, 2016
Beautifully captured. Excellent exposure (nice use of that fine lens!) Congrats - exceptional detail!
edandaniphone PRO+
edandaniphone February 26, 2016
Very cool shot.
matthewecapina February 27, 2016
Looking for dinner....
MickAlicic PRO
MickAlicic May 20, 2016
Beautiful capture! Voted in Animal Kingdom.
Arzhtatiana July 14, 2016
A great shot!
tonybruguiere December 10, 2017
Very nice portfolio. I enjoyed them all. I am going to have to try your technique of different color temps for different portions of the image. Also, thanks for your tip that macro lenses have a 50/50 dof range.
See all

Behind The Lens

This image was taken at Exmoor Zoo, near Barnstaple/Lynton in North Devon. I met up here with my daughter and grandchildren to have a lovely day out at the zoo, which is well worth a visit.
This was midday, just walking around and enjoying the animals on show. I think this Caracal, was my favourite a beautiful animal and I just love the ear tufts.
The sky was overcast, so was acting as a giant diffuser. This is perfect for shooting midday and focusing on the smaller details, because there is no harsh light to blow out highlights and consequently the best time to photograph gulls. Great for macro photography too.
I was using my Pentax K3 with their 50-135mm f2.8 lens attached. I didn't use flash and generally try to avoid using it. This was handheld, though a monopod could have been useful.
It was just a beautiful animal and close enough too get a good shot without cropping. There was a pheasant on the roof of its enclosure and the Caracal was quite still, watching, waiting and hoping, patiently. The natural diffused light was also great for capturing detail and colour.
Most of post processing is done in LR but here I did the initial raw processing in DXO for lens correction and then export to LR and play with the crop tool to optimise composition. Next I warmed the temperature of the fg (the Caracal) and cooled the temp of the bg using brushes. Adjusted white point setting to suit. Closed the image with the graduated filter, top & bottom and lightened the right hand side (direction of animals gaze). Selectively used brushes for contrast and clarity (increasing slightly in fg and reducing for bg) and the used the brush to lighten the mid area from the cat to the right hand side to draw attention to the animals gaze. Exported to PS CC, tweaked and sharpened using high pass and saved_as, before reopening in LR to check and if necessary add a vignette, but not in this case.
In my camera bag
Now days I have the Pentax K3 and 16-50 and 50-135 lens to carry around and when going for walks/hikes. I include polariser filters and spare memory cards and a spare battery. Plus a black rapide strap.
This was shot through thick plate glass, which was reasonably clean but not perfect. The trick is when shooting through a fence or glass is to get as close as possible and open your aperture wide, I was using f3.5 here at 135mm and ISO 400 to ensure the shutter speed was high enough (1/800 sec) to avoid movement and vibrations. Getting really close and opening up the aperture is much like the principle of dust on your lens i.e. the light bends around the obstacles and enough light information arrives at the sensor to negate the influence of the obstructions.

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