Back Modifications (3)
Views: 75 (28 Unique)  Award Shortlist   

Cheetah on it's lookout post.

By johanjooste  
Cheetahs like to climb onto higher ground to have a better view of the surrounding area.

Tags: Cheetah Wildlife and nature

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


Focus_Man 8 481 631 United Kingdom
26 Sep 2012 9:39AM
Hi John, this, as you have said is a picture of a Cheetah on high ground, however, there is just one major pointer I would like to offer. You have placed him/her well towards the left hand side of your frame, but you can sees he/she is facing towards your left. I think you will find that if you leave space ahead of her i.e. to the LHS, for her to metaphorically 'move into', placing her eyes much further right, you will be more pleased with the shot. This can be achieved here by a small canvas addition, a little cloning and crop but it is always better to frame and compose your subject within the viewfinder of your camera.

This applies to birds, people, animals, vehicles, maritime craft in fact anything that moves always seems to look more natural having space allowed in which to see or advance into.

Cannot comment on your EXIF as it hasn't loaded, in fact it appears to ahve been stripped out, but the shot does appear to a touch off critical focus, perhaps you used a long telephoto with all its problems.


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26 Sep 2012 9:46AM
Hi Frank, thanks for your advice. This was shot on slide film so I don't have the EXIF info.
alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
26 Sep 2012 12:59PM
Hmm.. I typically agree with Frank's comments when I critique pictures but this time I'm unsure about the mod. The fact that the cheetah is looking to the right for me would imply giving space on the right, as Johan did. It doesn't seem to me, from how the cheetah is looking, that a) it's going to actually move and b) if it did move, it would likely move in the direction it was looking, ergo, to the right. Given a) and b), I'd allow negative space on the right, as was originally allowed for by Johan. This might of course be a matter of preference.

To further emphasise my point though, the original photo positions the head of the cheetah closer to a third than the mod, something I also prefer in animal photos. Although in both this one and the mod, the head can be better positioned on a third.

In agreement with Frank, I think the sharpness is lacking here and the eyes are too hidden behind the shadow to really make an impact and that's a pity - would have otherwise been a very good picture.
Focus_Man 8 481 631 United Kingdom
26 Sep 2012 1:09PM

Quote:To further emphasise my point though, the original photo positions the head of the cheetah closer to a third than the mod, .

Not so sure???
alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
26 Sep 2012 1:35PM
Re-reading it myself I can see it was a confusing part of my post, apologies for that. What I wanted to say is that I prefer the negative space in the original, with the head of the cheetah being closer to a third than in the mod you did Frank (which places the head very centrally). I probably started typing the sentence, changed my mind about wording and left some words in.

I'm also typing crit at work at the moment, so sometimes I have to take a break from typing if I'm disturbed and continue writing at a later stage.
26 Sep 2012 2:01PM
Thanks so much guys. I agree also with Alistair regarding the looking space and that's why I took the picture like that. More space in the direction that the animal is looking regardless of if it will eventually move in the opposite direction.
banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3894 Canada
26 Sep 2012 5:06PM
Noisy, soft and over saturated, likely all due to the journey from slide to a digital format.

The original shot is very good.

reducung noise improves the shot, and does some sharpening, but the amount of sharpening this can take is limited by noise.

The Cheetah is looking the correct way, - to the photographers right, not left, and though its correct to have it compaoed looking into the empty space, this also leaves the animal too close to the left image edge, So placing the animlas HEAD on a third means losing some space on the right, adding a little on the left, and, most importantly, adding more sky to the top.

All done in the mod. But nothing will compare to the original slide.


paulbroad 10 123 1250 United Kingdom
26 Sep 2012 6:01PM
I think this is quite a well composed image but, assuming your slide is sharp, then you have a problem with your scanning. The image is very soft and full of artefacts.

What are you scanning with? A dedicated 35mm slide scanner of some quality or one of the cheaper versions? Scanning 35mm is not easy. I used to use a dedicated 35mm scanner at home with auto focus and results could be reasonable with care. I scanned at a minimum of 3200dpi to keep detail.

I now use an Epson 4990 flat bed which cost nearly 500 years ago. It is excellent with medium and large format negatives and slides but great care is needed with 35mm. I scan at 3200dpi and check at the start of each session that the autofocus is accurate. I have all scanner sharpening switched off and do any sharpening in Photoshop afterwards. Scanner software is not good at sharpening generally.

The current versions of the Epson are the V700 I think. Not cheap. We used a professional Minolta scanner at work, which was superb but cost in excess of 2000!

paulbroad 10 123 1250 United Kingdom
27 Sep 2012 9:02AM
Another thought. Did you have Digital ICE in use on your scanner to remove dust and scratches. Be very careful if you did. It also soften the image and causes artifacts due to it's action. If used, best set at a very light action and try tests. Best to clean slide well rather than use ICE at all.

Focus_Man 8 481 631 United Kingdom
27 Sep 2012 9:09AM

Quote: So placing the animlas HEAD on a third means losing some space on the right, adding a little on the left, and, most importantly, adding more sky to the top. Willie

Thanks Willie, thought I had the right idea.


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