Bob Benson, FPSA, EPSA  

Watching Cheetah by Bob Benson, FPSA, EPSA

October 2020 - Watching Cheetah

October 2020 - Bob Benson, FPSA, EPSA


About the Image(s)

This was from my February safari right before the pandemic stopped everything. I will definitely remember this trip, not just for the experience, and the timing, but that I also got a detached retina while there. Our guides spotted this from two football fields away, and I still marvel that they could see him hiding in the tall grass. 1/500 sec at f11, ISO 800 with 400 focal distance on crop factor and 1.4 extender (896 mm equivalent). Unfortunately I allowed the camera to use the foreground grass as the main focal point, and it is a little soft. So after correcting in LR, I applied various sharpening techniques to try to improve the focus. I think I got more sharpness in the front, but it is still soft at the very back of the head, and I am not sure if that is enough.

6 comments posted

Belinda Hudnall Keller   Belinda Hudnall Keller
Wow! First, on the retina while on a safari! That had to be scary, and I hope you're doing well now. Secondly, the distance at which this was captured is incredible. The corrections you made really brought natural sharpness back to the face. The blur at the back of the head doesn't bother me too much, and I'm not certain it matters, but if there is a way to select the fur and sharpen it, it would be better. Such a beautiful creature!   Posted: 10/10/2020 14:11:15

Jose Cartas   Jose Cartas
The posture of the cheetah is awesome: one can feel tension and drama. Unfortunately, the original was not properly focused, which would have rendered an incredible picture, with the animal tack sharp and the grass slightly out of focus. Your post-processing brought sharpness to the cheetah, but as a collateral also over-sharpened the grass. In any case, it's a big improvement compared to the original. I don't mind the softness at the back of the head. What is also missing is some catch light in the eyes.   Posted: 10/10/2020 19:28:26
Bob Benson   Bob Benson
Good catch on the eye. I can certainly improve that.   Posted: 10/12/2020 15:21:38

Mervyn Hurwitz   Mervyn Hurwitz
Welcome to the Nature division, Bob! While not perfectly sharp, you have improved the sharpness sufficiently to make this a compelling picture, showing the nature story aspect of this cheetah. My only suggestion is to lighten the eyes even more, using the radial tool in camera raw.   Posted: 10/13/2020 11:14:26

Tony Au Yeong   Tony Au Yeong
I think this is a fantastic image with the cheetah peeping. I agree with others that you have made great improvement regarding the sharpness of the front part of the animal. The suggestion of brightening the eyes is a good idea.   Posted: 10/13/2020 23:57:39

John Roach   John Roach
(Group 64)
Nice post processing to give us sharpness and fine presentation.   Posted: 10/20/2020 15:33:12


Please log in to post a comment