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Striped Pyjamas

Striped Pyjamas
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-05-13
Categories: Mammals, Savannah
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 170-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO Ultra DG, Digital ISO 100, UV 86mm Kenko
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Mammals of Southern Africa, _Fotos adicionadas por 5 ou mais membros II, Animal Portraits II, Natural stripes, Mammals of Africa, 5 favs. and up - PART 3, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park 1, A study in Mammalogy (mammals) 1, 80-89 Points I, Intimate Portraits, A - Z of Mammals [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-07-10 23:06
Viewed: 10222
Favorites: 5 [view]
Points: 86
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Plains ZebraEquus burchellii

This photo was taken at the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in the Sontuli loop area. Zebra’s are one of my favourite animals to photograph. They make for excellent portrait shots and their unique stripes, patterns, and colouration absolutely fascinates me.

Is a zebra white with black stripes or black with white stripes?

It is generally believed that zebras are dark animals, with white stripes where the pigmentation is inhibited. The pigment of the hair is found solely in the hair and not in the skin.

Zebra stripes have often been thought to be an adaptation that prevents zebras from being seen by predators such as lions or hyenas. The alternating stripes obscure the outline of the zebra. This may serve as camouflage, allowing the zebra to blend in with its background and/or it may serve to confuse a predator as to the distance of the fleeing animal. However, neither of these hypotheses can be easily confirmed. A different hypothesis contends that the stripes serve to obliterate a large single-colored region that is favored by biting insects such as the tsetse fly. These flies prefer large, dark, moving animals.

How did the zebra get its stripes?

The striping patterns of the plains-, mountain-, and imperial zebra can be explained if the stripes are generated 0.4mm apart in the 3, 4, and 5 week embryos, respectively. While neural crest cells begin migration at week 2 of gestation (in the horse), the zebra striping patterns are generated between weeks 3 and 5, depending upon the species. All the stripes originally are the same width and are generated at different times in the three species which also explains the numbers of stripes in each species.

The spacing and size of the stripes are the same. What differs is the time at which the stripes are generated. If generated during week 3, the stripes begin perpendicular to the anterior-posterior body axis, but become parallel to this axis in the rump, since the rear of the zebra is still growing. This generates the pattern of plains zebra. If the striping pattern is generated on week 4, most of the rump has grown, and the hind stripes are more perpendicular to the body axis. This generates the pattern seen in the mountain zebra. If the striping pattern is generated on week 5, there is space for many more stripes, all of which are perpendicular to the body axis. This generates the striping pattern of the imperial zebra.

It is not known how the pattern is initiated or what activators or inhibitors are being generated. It is difficult to imagine how such a pattern can be generated by preformed maternal instructions, responses to gradients, or regional inductions. It has been proposed that the Turing reaction-diffusion models could produce these alternative pigmented and non-pigmented bands.


Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

LCannon, ellis49, Silke, lovenature, radz, halki, soccer, Janice, coasties, ramthakur, scottevers7, ddg, MojoUK, SkyF, aido, jmp, marhowie, manyee, liquidsunshine, wuta, firelord, CTP, jeanpaul, jchemas, TAZ, pilonm, Dee_eS, saguzar, elroyie, Luc, sAner, annagrace, Joffre, Dyker, Miss_Piggy, Rehanna, betsie has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To galasmile: Welcomeloot 1 01-05 15:25
To pilonm: Pixelised complimentloot 1 07-13 14:49
To manyee: Hairy talesloot 1 07-11 14:31
To aido: Thanks Adrianloot 1 07-11 14:21
To lovenature: Long hairloot 1 07-11 14:01
To Janice: Black, brown & whiteloot 1 07-11 13:45
To Silke: Pajama drillloot 1 07-11 00:28
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Loot,
this is a great portrait of beautiful animal and you have
captured it so good. The DOF is perfect, the entire animal in focus and the BG is in nice OOF. I like the POV and the pose.
Well composed and very good details. Thanks for the note.
Excellent work, my friend.

  • Great 
  • LCannon Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 374 W: 137 N: 804] (3107)
  • [2006-07-10 23:24]
  • [2]

Definitely gets points just for the "cuteness factor" but it really is a fine photo on it's own merits. The black and white is exposed so well, the focus so clear and sharp, but not too sharp. I can almost feel all those whiskers on his little chin, such great detail. There's just the right amount of greenery around his portrait, well done Loot!

  • Great 
  • Silke Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 729 W: 98 N: 1707] (5458)
  • [2006-07-10 23:36]
  • [2] [+]

That's an amazing portrait, Loot, so perfectly focused that I can almost feel the texture of his skin. Marvelouss POV, excellent natural light, good out-of-focus BG, and top-notch composition.
But I have a question for you: Isn't it considered rude to shoot your subjects before they've finished dressing? Please -- next time give him him time to have his breakfast and change into his daywear before you stick a camera in his face.

Wonderful Photo Loot,
I love the detail and the angle the Zebra is looking, the guard hairs on his chin are really cute. The colour of this Zebra coat is perfect, you can even see which direction the hair is growing. I noticed he has a blue eye, or am I not seeing correctly.

In horses the longer hairs on the chin and nose are for being able to know where their head is when they are eating or drinking. Same goes with the longer hairs around their eyes. Just a couple of tidbids of information.

Thanks so much for the beautiful shot, Janice

  • Great 
  • radz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 598 W: 11 N: 72] (436)
  • [2006-07-11 1:37]

Nice portrait!!What a nature design.Nice POV&DOF.

  • Great 
  • halki Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 242 W: 9 N: 105] (471)
  • [2006-07-11 2:57]

Hello Loot,
Magnificent post.Details,pose of zebra,colors,sharpness and
composition are perfect.
Thganks for sharing.

Hi Loot, nice portrait of this beautifull zebra!
The details are great and the eye is really sharp.
Amazing contrast beetwen the BG and the b&w mantle.
Bye, Andrea

Look at all those hairs on his chinny-chin-chin!! They looks brown, NOT B&W! But so do the ends of his mane show brown too on the black hair, not the white.
Well, whatever! He's a beauty! Excellent portrait Loot, focus and details just right. Well done,

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2006-07-11 3:58]

Hi Loot,

You did a great job overhere,I like it a lot,Picture is overall very sharp and detailed and the contrast is perfect with the natural green BG,well done an TFS,


Hi Loot

A magnificent shot. The POV and crop are both fantastic. Nice exposure with perfect OOF BG. Sharpness, clarity and detail are all spot on. You even have a catchlight in the eye. All the elements for top quality work. Congrats Loot. :-)

Fantastic capture of the stripes on a zebra's face and neck, Loot. I find the whiskers too very interesting.
Thanks for sharing the picture and take care.

very good photo Loot.
the composition is very nice, the quality is high, the pov is very good and yes I like the good job here,
gr. jaap

Hi Loot,
A superb portrait shot on this Plains Zebra. Great quality soft light here. Flawless composition and framing. The OOF green backround really enhances the portrait. Razor sharp detail. I would say you have naild this one perfectly my friend!

These also make great conversion to B&W. I did that with one of mine that I posted awhile back. Won a photo contest in the B&W catagory with it. I think this one is much better.


  • Great 
  • ddg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 867 W: 24 N: 1008] (5507)
  • [2006-07-11 8:11]

Bonjour Loot, les portrit de Zebre sont légion sur TN, mais le votre est au dessus du lot!! Rien qu'a la vue l'on peut percevoir le relief de la peau, sa texture, l'expression de l'animal est belle. Félicitations, TFS, Didier.

Hi Loot,

One of the best potrait shots of a Zebra I have seen. Very sharp, lots of detail and perfect DoF and background.

Great definition and clarity in this attractive portrait Loot. Your 350D really does produce some very nice work. Of course the tool has to have a skilled artist on the other end of the lens.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-07-11 8:33]

Hello Loot,
wonderful portrait. Excellent sharpness and the colors are very nice. The perfect crop makes for an excellent composition.

  • Great 
  • soccer Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 587 W: 0 N: 655] (2557)
  • [2006-07-11 8:59]
  • [2]


Excellent Portrait of the Zebra. The Sharpness, Composition, Detail of the subject, OOF BG, DOF and POV are all excellent. The Green BG contrasting with the B&W subject make a great combination. TFS,

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-07-11 9:43]
  • [+]

Hi Loot,
A professional job, technically spot-on. DOF is perfect to defocus the BG but retain all details of the Zebra. The exposure is perfect, not easy to achieve with a black and white animal. No blown highlights and detail in the darkest areas, outstanding. Great detail, perfect pose with the head turned and excellent composition. Superb.

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-07-11 10:49]

Hi Loot,
A perfect portrait of this zebra. Pose, color, details, bg and composition are simple the best.
TFS, José M.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-07-11 12:40]
  • [+]

Hello Loot,
Your zebra does not look like he is ready for bed. : P
Rather he looks like he is ready to go party and paint the town red. : )
What a magnificent coat of stripes. The colors are are very intense, and the design is rather fetching. He must have spent a lot of time in front of the mirror, because he is showing off every detail in the sharpest of ways. Every hair in his magnificent mane, every hair inside his ears (that's very important, you know, when you go out), and every hair on his chinny chin chin... stands out crystal clear and well-kempt. A very fastidious zebra, I see. : )
And he is not shy. His direct eye contact says, " Ain't I just the handsomest thing on four legs?"
The OOF green BG is just magnificent. And the notes are fascinating.
Thank you for another outstanding post. : )

Excellent portrait Loot,
Good detail, I especially like the clarity of the eye, colours and sharpness are spot on. exposure and lighting are good. Good POV and composition.

Thanks for posting, have a great week.

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-07-11 13:45]

Hello This is a fantastic portret from the zebra , so sharp ,beauty colours pov bg his eyes ,very good job , thanks , Greetings teunie .

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-07-11 21:13]

Bonjour Loot!

Bravo pour l'expositions parfaite et les couleurs justes. Félicitations pour le Bg qui contrastes bien avec le sujet et la netteté qui est excellente.


Hello Loot, excllent details, Bg,POV DOF Perfect colors great work on th this Portrait, Everything looks so real and crisp, Great Job TFS Kyle

  • Great 
  • CTP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 644 W: 6 N: 946] (2726)
  • [2006-07-12 15:50]

Hi Loot,
This is one excellent zebra portrait.
I like your excellent pov,dof,focus,sharpness,blurred bg,colors,pose,note and framing.Well Done.TFS

  • Great 
  • Dando Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 637 W: 32 N: 792] (3084)
  • [2006-07-12 18:04]

Hi loot,
Excellent portrait. Great sharp details with good exposed colours. Also good lighting and POV. Well done and TFS.

Bonjour Loot
Elle est superbe cette prise en potrait. Les couleurs,les détails sont de toutes beautés et l'éclairage et l'exposition sont parfaits.
Félicitations et merci pour l'envoie.....JP

Hi Loot.
This is a great portrait of a beautiful animal.
The colors are great, the details superb and the composition is oustanding.
It is not that plain, it is a great shot my friend.

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2006-07-13 6:19]

Lovely and interesting portrait for this nice "Zčbre" ! Good pose and excelent sharpness. Congratulations my friend and thank you for sharing picture and note which give to me enjoyment.

Hello Loot (master of the pixel ;-)

Your picture is just wonderful! Let me stop here for few seconds in order to add your lovely picture to my favorites... Ok! I'm back! Everything is perfect on this picture: the nice spark in the eye; the complete control of the exposure (and zebra should be a challenge for that and you managed it perfectly as we distinguish all the different tones of white and black!); the so nice green blurry bg which enhanced so well the animal; and your lovely composition! 5 stars for you, Loot and TFS,


Hallo Loot,
Very nice portrait, very crisp and sharp, nice DOF. TFS!

Hello Loot,
A classic and beautiful portrait,,perfectly managed proprtions. the light is the adecuate for the white tones; BG works well.
Curiously I see yellowish stripes are natural or dirt?.

  • Great 
  • osse Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 89] (7805)
  • [2006-07-14 6:35]

Hi Loot
Good portrait shot. Great sharpnes, light, colours, details, DOF and POV.
Well done Loot


Great portrait with excellent colours, I loiked the contrast between the B/W of the zebra to the green BG, very good quality.

  • Great 
  • TPAKT Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 97 W: 21 N: 20] (89)
  • [2006-07-16 15:02]

Beautiful animal, good portrait. If without color it is possible to name \geometry\.

Excellent portrait of this gorgeous zebra the details are very nice on that perfect soft green background. :)

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2006-08-29 1:58]

Hi Loot,

This is an excellent portrait. Very sharp details and perfect exposure. DOF and POV are great and so is the composition. The oof background works perfectly and I never knew Zebra's had such blue eyes. Wonderful! Well done & TFS!


I've never seen such an extensive discussion of the stripes on a zebra, LOL! This is a wonderful portrait, the best I've ever seen on TN.

TFS, my S. African friend,


Hiya Loot, wonderful clear and sharp shot, great DOF, nice light and natural colours really like the way you have composed this, the markings of the animal makes this very dynamic, excellent capture!

Beautifull capture. The focus is crisp, the DOF is perfect, and what impresses me is that there is lots of detail in the highlights and the darkest black stripes.

  • Great 
  • chowitt (170)
  • [2006-11-16 20:47]

This is a beautiful portrait. I especially like the fact that this photo answers the age old question about zebras and I think it is save to say they are black with white stripes. :)
Great clarity and the sharpness really makes this picture stand out.

Very interesting shot! Great composition and amazing sharpness. Well done.

Hallo Loot
This guy was the perfect model if I look at this image. This is a great close-up with excellent clarity and focus. This is such a simple yet splendid shot. Really well managed and taken. The black and white lines are displayed well and perfect lighting at the right places in this shot really says it al. A job well done.The big black almost blue in coloured eyes and the hairs on the chin adds that special touch to this already special portrait. Thanks for this beautiful contribution.

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