Marwell cats

Discussion in 'Nature & Wildlife' started by Overread, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well the weather was lousy, but that was not the worst - the thing I hate most is the finger barrier! You know that barrier put up to keep you back from the wire netting in front of the cage so you don't put your finger in to feed the kitty - makes it very hard to get rid of it!
    Anyway bars were a pain and the cats uncooperative!

    [​IMG]
    f4, ISO 200, 1/100sec
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3481/3230325414_2bc0209dee_o.jpg
    one day I will learn to stop cutting off the legs!

    [​IMG]
    f5.6, ISO 200, 1/50sec
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3503/3230329204_e324c9a3c5_o.jpg
    Shutter speed a little low, should have gone for more ISO - I just really hate going above 200. This is also a pretty large crop since something got into my focus and messed up a section - however its not too bad since a lot of what is lost is just dead space

    [​IMG]
    f5.6, ISO 400, 1/200sec
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3464/3229477331_bf2449ae1b_o.jpg
    The cat got into this positiong and I shot, but its not the shot I wanted - I really wanted to get behind the cat and get a shot of him looking out of the bars - unfortunately getting behind lead to the cage bars appearing in the lower half of the shot - that and I think the cat moved away too.

    [​IMG]
    f5.6, ISO 400, 1/40sec
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3425/3230324618_8c60231304_o.jpg
    The jaguars were very hard to shoot - their pen was not huge, infact I think it was the smallest of the big cats at the site - though split into two sections since there was a younger cat with a mother - so the father was separate. However it was a darker area and little space to get a shot without any bars

    [​IMG]
    f5.6, ISO 400, 1/160sec
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3536/3230326286_3db934a5de_o.jpg
    Active kitty was pacing the bars a lot - there was another tiger pen on the others side of those bars so I think he/she had some interest in the tiger on the other side (however that tiger decided to spend the day dreaming)

    Well that is it for now - some not so easy shooting and my polariser appeared a few times. Unfortunately it tended to appear with the already darker area jaguars since it was there were I had glass pane to shoot through.
    Anyway any comments/crits/advice welcome - thank you
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  2. keybq

    keybq TPF Noob!

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    #1 and #2 are my favs
     
  3. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    #1 & 2 are the best IMO because they lack any of the fence showing.

    :thumbsup:
     
  4. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How did you and all of you as a matter of fact, but this series inparticular with the cheetahs, get such great shots thruough bars? Great series.

    Mark
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    :) thanks for the compliments all!

    I was just thinking - I think all of these actually missed the bars! The cheetah ones were shot from a raise and so I was able to shoot just over the fence and the leopard was shot through glass. I can't remember if the tiger here was glass or fence, but I think it was fence.

    The trick is to get your lens as close to the bars as possible - at zoos this tends to be tricky with many animals (especially big cats) as they have a barrier a good foot or so before the wire - so you can't get your lens right up to it. The other trick is to have the animal as far back from the wire as you can - that way when you focus you focus passed the bars - there was a great sport for getting really close cheetah shots where they were resting on the roof of their hut, but it was so close to the bars that they showed through each time.
    A wide aperture also helps with such shooting.
    I have shot through very tiny bars before - this shot http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u275/overmind_2000/my%20works/British%20Wildlife%20Centre%202/IMG_1648.jpg
    was taken through bars with about 1cm gaps between them - so very small. It only worked because the squirrel was way back into the cage and I was right up to the bars.

    The other trick is to always shoot through a gap - and be as straight on to the bars as you can - that way you lessen the change of having a bar go right through the middle of a shot - it tends to give a whity effect and sap contrast and saturation from the area it hits - with selective contrast boosting (usually a lot of contrast) you can restore these areas to a point where they look decent. Recently I have also found out that if you go to hues and select Cyan (as opposed to master) and desaturate it all the way you can also improve the look
     
  6. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Nice series. #2 is my favourite, no distracting surroundings & looks quite natural. #1, too.. but still #2 for the win!
     
  7. BUDS_Bundy

    BUDS_Bundy TPF Noob!

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    I enjoy #2 the most. The contrasting colors of the cat with the contrasting autumn leaves works well together. I also agree with you about shutter speed, it could be a bit quicker. Get shots, looks like a fun day.
     
  8. Lyncca

    Lyncca TPF Noob!

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    #2 is gorgeous :)
     
  9. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So basically long focal distances with a shallow DOF with good focusing will make them virtually not there?

    Mark
     
  10. MikeBcos

    MikeBcos TPF Noob!

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    In these situations I use aperture or shutter priority and leave the ISO set at auto, a slightly noisy 1600 ISO shot is a whole lot better than a delete because of camera shake.

    Having said that, you got some very nice shots, #1 and 2 especially.
     
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the compliments all - the 2nd shot being popular surprises me since whilst it lacks the bars element of the latter shots I still prefer them.

    And being close to the bars - that really helps - if you can press your lens hood (I never want to put the front of my lens actually on the bars - way way to risky!) right on the bars your going good - but remember to watch the angle - if you start twisting too far either way then you can get bars appearing.

    And I don't know about using auto ISO - firstly I don't even have the option to use it on my camera , but even if I did I find that above ISO 400 the noise starts to get way too much for my liking and at 1600 I think it would be enough for me to discount the shot. On a midrange body it might be a better choice
     

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