Picture of the Week 11 – Meet The Cheetah

Canon EOS 60D ,Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
1/100s f/3.2 at 200.0mm iso3200

Meet The Cheetah

We went to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (formerly San Diego Wild Animal Park) today, thinking that with the windy and rainy weather it wouldn’t be so crowded. We were certainly right. I’ve never seen so few people there. However, what we didn’t know is that the weather also caused lots of events to be cancelled. No bird flight show (too windy, the birds would have been blown out of the amphitheater, no cheetah run (too soggy, the cheetah would have hydroplaned). Instead, they had some close animal encounters in the enclosed Hunte Pavillon, including one with the cheetah.

Technically, this was a rather difficult photo to take. The cheetah was quite skittish and hardly ever held still. Flash was out of the question out of consideration for the animal. It was quite dark and the scene was very strongly backlit.

The ways to compensate for these challenges is to make sure the main subject is properly exposed (the background will be blown out), to increase local contrast in post-processing, and to use a large aperture.

On technical merits alone, it is certainly not the best photo I’ve ever taken, but it was the best I could do under the circumstances, and how often does one get this close to a cheetah? I do like the composition, the expression of the cheetah, and also the out of focus trainer in the background with his head turned away.

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One Response to Picture of the Week 11 – Meet The Cheetah

  1. Kyle says:

    wow! how close were you to the cheetah? was there a lot of zoom??

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