occasionalclimber
occasionalclimber

Caged spirit



A Snow Leopard, Melbourne Zoo. Wonderful to be able to see such a magnificent animal up close, but so sad to take away his Himalayan freedom...
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A Snow Leopard, Melbourne Zoo. Wonderful to be able to see such a magnificent animal up close, but so sad to take away his Himalayan freedom
Read less

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Staff Favorite
Peer Award
Absolute Masterpiece
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8 Comments | Report
Eddieuuu071 Premium
 
Eddieuuu071 April 16, 2017
Thank you for submitting your wonderful photo to this challenge! It's one of my favorites!
occasionalclimber
occasionalclimber July 06, 2017
I just saw Apr16 next to your comment Eddie - sorry for not responding sooner and thank you. It's one of my favorites too - his expression is so powerful - a great "animalification" of the Himalaya. He just won a Staff favorite award :-)
justinstarr
 
justinstarr July 06, 2017
Those eyes tho!
occasionalclimber
occasionalclimber July 06, 2017
And looking straight at me - couldn't believe my luck.
BexxPhotography
 
BexxPhotography July 07, 2017
Beautiful!
occasionalclimber
occasionalclimber February 18, 2018
Thank you
markcunningham650 PRO+
 
markcunningham650 October 15, 2017
Awesome photo thankyou
occasionalclimber
occasionalclimber February 18, 2018
I see that you also admire these incredible animals. Thanks
michelletracey PRO
 
michelletracey February 16, 2018
Magnificent shot!?
occasionalclimber
occasionalclimber February 18, 2018
Thank you
judysimon
 
judysimon January 22, 2019
Beautiful!
Great shot!
occasionalclimber
occasionalclimber January 22, 2019
Thanks :-)
alexanderdaggett
 
alexanderdaggett September 08, 2020
thats just amazing! what lens is that?
occasionalclimber
occasionalclimber September 08, 2020
A 55-300 Nikon DX. Thanks
lizzieshehane
 
lizzieshehane December 08, 2020
Nice!

Behind The Lens

Location
At Melbourne Zoo, Australia.
Time
Late morning.
Lighting
The day was overcast, so the light was dim but soft - good in terms of less pronounced shadowing, but difficult in terms of freezing the subject’s movement.
Equipment
A Nikon D7000 and a 55-300 lens. For this shot the zoom setting was 300mm, ISO 1000, F5.6 and shutter 1/60 sec.
Inspiration
As a climber and quite frequent visitor to the Himalaya I am mightily impressed by snow leopards. I’ve never seen one in the wild – they’re masters of stealth and of their near vertical habitats. While it saddened me to see this magnificent animal deprived of his mountain home, seeing his pent up power so close was still a thrill. To get this candid, straight into the lens shot was more than I could’ve hoped for. I fancied the notion that he could sense our shared connection with the mountains, but then again, maybe he was just thinking “dinner”. I was glad of the heavy wired fence separating us.
Editing
The usual refinements in Camera RAW to balance highlights and shadow, but I also had to remove heavily blurred wire in the foreground cutting across part of his face using cloning and cropping. I also worked with saturation and contrast to accentuate his ice-blue eyes.
In my camera bag
I love the mountains, so as little as possible - at present a Nikon D750 camera body, a Nikkor 24-120 small zoom and the 55-300 bigger zoom, a spare battery and beaten up lightweight tripod - good for hiking. If I'm going for a summit then it's even less - a compact Nikon P7800 with mirrorless through the lens digital view finder, full manual operation and RAW file capture - absolutely great when you still want to control your photography but need to keep moving and can't afford to have stuff hanging off you.
Feedback
Go to interesting places and don’t forget your camera. Since joining ViewBug I’ve widened my sphere of interest beyond mountains and back country. Zoos aren’t my ideal scenario given that animals are caged up, but they do give great opportunities to get up close to amazing photographic subjects.

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