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Settling For A Post-Dinner Nap

By rowarrior
I took this photo on safari in Sabi Sands in South Africa in early October. She had just killed a duiker and having hauled it up a tree and had a bit of a munch, she was settling down for a nap (just the pesky tourists keeping her up!)

Now the main problem I can see (and yes, I'm sure there's lots more than this one!) is the background. Obviously I didn't choose the right DOF, but not much I can do about that now, but is there any way I can blur the background so it doesn't look so bad?


Tags: Africa Leopard South africa Landscape and travel Big 5 Wildlife and nature Big five



dragarth 19 247 1 Scotland
3 Jan 2008 9:33PM
even though the background may be a bit off I think you are worrying too much she (?) is in good focus with plenty of good detail. lovely creature and a good shot.

fishy2 15
3 Jan 2008 9:43PM
superb shot and detail...........
3 Jan 2008 11:07PM
Hi Katy and a warm welcome to EPZ. What a beauty. You have got some nice detail on the cat with good natural colour, and the overall composition isnt bad at all. I would be tempted to crop a little of the top. I dont know what imaging software you use but in cs2 its easy to blur your background to give a good look of well controlled dof simply select your main subject select inverse and then choose by how much you wish to blur, gaussian usually gives the best result. A slight boost in sat to really punch out the lepoards coat. Nice result Katy

stevie 19 1.2k 2 United Kingdom
4 Jan 2008 7:53AM
Hi Katy - well done on finding a beautiful leopard, quite a rare find in the wild. This one is in a very good, highly characteristic pose - relaxing on a branch after a kill. I've had quite a few goes at the 'leopard up a tree' over the years and its harder than most people think! Considering you've got a bright background (the sky through the branches) you've done well with the exposure - I find a spot reading (no pun intended, sorry!) off the cat helpful. The animal is sharp and reasonably detailed but the composition is a bit confused and untidy. Leopards have such great faces it would help if you could have got him/her to look at the camera. One thing I have found - and I'm definitely still learning animal photography - is that most great animal photographs are either 'portraits' (close-ups with great detail)', animals 'in their environment' almost a landscape shot, showing a bigger overall picture, or shots of activity, such as a chase or a kill. Your shot is a bit of a halfway house and just lacks that spark of interest. I think the colour is just about right - looks like a real leopard to me. Hope some of that helps, regards.
CathR 16 151 564 United Kingdom
4 Jan 2008 9:23AM
I like the look of satisfaction on the leopard's face. As Colin says you can blur the background but I don't think it would help much here. In fact its already quite blurred. The problem for me is the brightness and I would consider Colin's suggestion of cropping some of it off. This would focus more attention on the cat and the tree where you have done a good job.

Newtman 17 2 5
4 Jan 2008 9:25AM
Hi Katy,

A crop off the top of the picture may give a better result than simply blurring the background, I have tried both and the tighter crop gets my vote every time. Colin is right in that a slight boost to the saturation, assuming your imaging software allows this, will improve the coat of the cat no end, without impacting too much on the rest of the picture. Feel proud of this though, I have had many goes at leopards in trees without managing to come up with a shot as good as this.

stevie 19 1.2k 2 United Kingdom
4 Jan 2008 9:36AM
Almost forgot to mention - are you watching 'Big Cat Week' (5.30 pm all this week BBC 1)?
5 Jan 2008 2:19AM
hehe like the look in her eyes,

and stevie i watch cat week yest Smile was pretty good,
kaybee 19 8.6k 28 Scotland
5 Jan 2008 8:32PM
You could select the background and give it a bit more blur (lens blur if you have PS with that option)

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