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Early Morning Sun - 250th Posting

Early Morning Sun - 250th Posting
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-03-25
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon 400mm 2.8 IS
Exposure: f/4, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite African animal photos, gondox's favorites - animals, Harry Eggens favorite big cat shots, TN Favourites [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-04-14 8:09
Viewed: 6583
Favorites: 3 [view]
Points: 78
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I chose this part silhouette of this 2 year old leopardess because I like it! I especially like the way the morning sun is catching the back of her head. She is sitting beneath a bush looking for prey.

I took this using my 400 2.8 and a beanbag.

In Antiquity, it was believed that a leopard was a hybrid between a lion and a panther, as is reflected in its name, a Greek compound word derived from λέων léon ("lion") and πάρδος párdos ("male panther"), the latter related to Sanskrit पृदाकु pṝdāku ("snake, tiger, panther").

A panther can be any of several species of large felid; in North America, the term refers to cougars, in South America, jaguars, and elsewhere, leopards. Early naturalists distinguished between leopards and panthers not by colour (a common misconception), but by the length of the tail—panthers having longer tails than leopards.

Felis pardus was one of the many species described in Linnaeus's 18th-century work, Systema Naturae.

The generic component of its modern scientific designation, Panthera pardus, is derived from Latin via Greek πάνθηρ pánthēr. A folk etymology held that it was a compound of παν pan ("all") and θηρ ("beast"). However, it is believed instead to derive from an Indo-Iranian word meaning "whitish-yellow, pale"; in Sanskrit, this word's reflex was पाण्डर pāthara, from which was derived पुण्डरीक puthárīka ("tiger", among other things), then borrowed into Greek.

The leopard is an agile and graceful predator. Although smaller than the other members of Panthera, the leopard is still able to take large prey given a massive skull that well utilizes powerful jaw muscles. Its body is comparatively long for a cat and its legs are short.[9] Head and body length is between 90 and 190 cm (35 and 75 in), the tail reaches 60 to 110 cm (24 to 43 in). Shoulder height is 45 to 80 cm (18-31 in). Males are considerably larger than females and weigh 37 to 90 kg (81 to 198 lbs) compared to 28 to 60 kg (62 to 132 lbs) for females.

One of many spotted cats, a leopard may be mistaken for a cheetah or a jaguar. The leopard has rosettes rather than cheetah's simple spots, but they lack internal spots, unlike the jaguar. The leopard is larger and less lanky than the cheetah but smaller than the jaguar. The leopard's black, irregular rosettes serve as camouflage. They are circular in East Africa but tend to be square-shaped in southern Africa.

Leopards have been reported to reach 21 years of age in captivity.

horia, NinaM, eqshannon, Dis. Ac., jaycee, stevkds, Alex99, Luis52, matatur, nglen, boreocypriensis, CeltickRanger, vanderschelden, Proframe, rousettus, gracious, Miss_Piggy, ramthakur, PaulH, haraprasan, goldyrs, SelenE, gannu, JPlumb, gondox, Adanac, uleko, hester, anel, smitha, rcrick, cataclysta has marked this note useful
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To haraprasan: Sorryharaprasan 1 04-15 03:44
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-04-14 8:27]

Hi James

An absolute beauty for your 250th!
I see all the reasons you mention and why you like this one so much.
It's exactly that terrific blend between a close-up and a silhouette and that patch of sunlight makes it unique and gives it such a natural and amazing feeling.
Pin-sharp and superbly composed, this photo is also a great history and biology lesson through its note.
Truly well done!

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-04-14 8:32]

Not only do you take great pictures,travel throughout the world, you can even type in sanscrit and greek... this picture is beautiful, James, you are right, the light on her head is superb. I also love the beautiful bright background where we can guess the tall grass. The leopardess is so elegant and noble, the fur is beautiful. And congratulations for this beautiful 250th picture, you bring such a great contribution on this site. Thanks for this wonderful sight,


This goes into my favorite file. It shold be right up there at th4e top if I had my way, along with Rob Frys wolves...boy oh boy is that one GREAT image. NOTHING wrong and everything right. Super image!

Hi James,
Beautiful shot. Very nice composition and details.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-04-14 9:35]

Hi Neighbor,

There is very little that compares with early morning in South Africa! This Leopardess is beautiful with the sun reflecting on the back of her head. A wonderful profile of this fine animal with natural colors and excellent details.


Hello James,

nice pose and good portrait of these animal.
Beautiful colors and great BG.

Regards Gert

Hi James,

Perfect shot. No 1.It is fine art to my opinion... Great colour and composition. Bravo. tfs. Stev

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-04-14 10:06]

Hola James.
Bella presentacion James. El efecto de la luz del sol sobre la silueta del Leopardo es muy hermosa. Los colores naturales y alta definicion hacen de la foto un verdadero trofeo.
Un abrazo James.
Felicidades por Tus 250 hermosas fotos.

Congratulations for your 250th posting James, you've chosen a difficult shot there, a "contra-lumiere" capture earmarked for a silhouette, but obviously you've opened the aperture one extra stop to admit more light from the poorly illuminated leopard, which resulted in a fine take indeed! TFS my friend.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-04-14 12:23]

Hi James have just got home but i had to congratulate you on your 250th picture on TN each one has been of intrest and always along with very good notes . well today is no exception its a stunner , The detail and colours are first class.A perfect pose. very well done TFS.

Hello James
Theres really not to much to say about this...Its pretty much perfect in my book!!..Fantastic note as well..Many congrats and Thanks for your your 250 posts..they are showing me parts of the world and nature that i wouldnt see.

Hi my beloved friend Howard,
Wonderful shot of this beauty my friend with excellent details. TFS.
Greetings from Cyprus,

Hello James,
She is a beauty. The rosettes are very visible.
Strange the former are square-shaped in southern Africa compared to the circular ones in East Africa.
Very good morning light. Must have been some kind of morning. Beautiful light and a leopardess. And a coffee?
Great work

You're not the only one who likes this image James.
Congratulations!!!............ with your 250th upload on TN.
It's a great head shot of this wonderful big cat.
You're totally right about the sun on the back of her head, it's beautiful.
I'm sure this small image does'nt do any justice to the real beaty of the shot.
Seems to me that when at the wall in 20x30 inch format it looks even greater.
You also have done an excellent job on exposure here.
Colors, details and brigthness of the eye are most wonderful.
The Leopardess does stand out perfectly against the lighter tones of the BG.
Outstanding work James. A real joy to look at.
Great note also. TFS!!!

Warmest regards, Harry

Hi James, dear friend
Congratulations on your 250th. I wish to see many hundreds posts from you. Up to know, you posted great shots all over the world. I think country records belongs to you and so we can see many species and landscapes by you. thanks you all of them.
another thing about the leopard on this great capture, they lives in Turkiye until recent time, but their endemic subspcies Panthera pardus tulliana most probably extinct in the country. I hope other forms will survive to end of the world
Thanks for sharing, best wishes

Hello James,
My congrat on your 250th posting with such a awesome image!
A great displayed of light and shadows in the shot, just beautiful
good sharpness, colour and details
well done
best regards

Hi James,
beautiful shot with great sharpness.
The light is very good.
Nice POV
TFS Tatjana.

Hallo James
Congratulations on this stunning image you have chosen as your 250th post as well as the accomplishment of reaching the 250th mark. I still have a long way to go.
The leopard is such an incredible beautifully created animal, and your presentation displays its beauty so well. This is a fantastic portrait of the most handsome of beasts. Superb about sums it up, this is an excellent shot with great colour and detail. Thanks for sharing. I appreciated this one very much.
Kind regards

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-04-15 0:32]

Hi, my dear friend.
I am very happy that I have met you here, great photographer and great person. Thanks for your huge gallery, interesting note and touching comments. All the best for you.

Superb of quality and subject shot. I do not know image of what is better. Bokeh is fantastic, image of the big cat is fine. Pose of the animal, reproduction of the hair are superb. Shot is framed perfectly and title is the best. Bravo and hearty wishes.

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-04-15 1:40]

Hello James,
well done on reaching 250...time flys when you're having fun!
I love this crisp, clear profile shot with those unmistakable spots. Great clarity and the splash of warm sunslight on her neck is excellent.

That patch of light on the leopardess' head is truly the best feature of this otherwise immaculate capture, James.
She seems to be intent on her prospective prey and the expression in her eys is very well recorded despite the back-light.
Thanks for another great image from your recent trip and congratulations on reaching the landmark figure of 250 posts up!

Hi James,
A nice capture of this beautiful leopard. Excellent details and a composition. Good see some of our national language in your notes :). Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-04-15 5:11]

Hello James,
huge congratulations for your 250th post!
What a stunning image!
I agree, the lighting is fantastic!
Excellent pose and a great composition.
The BG is very nice.
Razor-sharp with great detail.
Very good work!!


Hi James
Congrats on your 250th. What can I say about this photo that hasn't already been said. Just stunning with such good use of the available light. TFS.

hello James

congratulations for your 250th photo posting,
you choosed a great and wonderful wild animal
with this leopardess, very vry lovely shot James,
fine POV and framing, excellent DOF, lovely pose
of the « wild cat », great sharpness and details,
this leopardess seems to be in againts daylight effect
(in French en contre-jour) and i love it, superb composition,



  • goldyrs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 974 W: 51 N: 2913] (11497)
  • [2008-04-15 6:27]

Wow James!
This is an awesome shot!The shadows play the role of mytifying the subject, if you know what I mean...
Very well done!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-04-15 11:46]

Hello James,
You're 250th is an excellent photo. The light on the back of her head is amazing.
Sharpness and details are very good. Great composition.

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-04-15 13:31]

Hi James,
Congratulations on your 250th posting and hope to see many more 100's from you :o)
I liked the exposure control, background, POV, composition and pose you captured a lot. TFS
All the best,

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-04-15 21:17]

WOW James, Superb just simply amazing shot. Excellent lighting and great focus. The view is absolutely superb Ganesh

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-04-15 23:23]

Hi James,
Congratulations on your reaching 250. Must be a great feeling and I admit to have enjoyed each one of them from across the world. You have to be the most widely travelled man I have come across and it is such a privilege to know you, even if through this site. Wish travel with you through your images many many more times.
You celebrate this occasion with this outstanding shot of this elegant predator. Very neat and sharp image with superb lighting effects. Very cool pose presented. Excellent DOF, POV and composition. Kudos.

Beautiful shot of a beautiful animal James. I like the lighting on this one as well. I also like this composition with her sitting, staring, with her mouth open, waiting for something to come along. The colour and detail are very good with decent depth of field, I like the inclusion of the grasses around the cat.

Thanks, John

Hi James!

Perfect dof and composition,sharpness and details, but most of all the lighting is outstanding in this picture! And the pose of the leopard of course, showing her confidance and strength very proudly! The grass puts it to an environment that makes sure it was not captured in zoo. Wonderful shot, TFS!

Best regards,

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-04-16 6:29]

Hello James,
Outstanding image to celebrate 250 wonderful posting from all over this wonderful planet. What a sharp image of this incredible cat. Your postings allow me to see things and creatures I only dream of seeing, thank you Sir for sharing with us.

This is gorgeous James. Love the pose and low POV, rich details, and pleasing BG light and colors. Excellent! Congrats on your 250th milestone and sharing so many wonderful shots from around the globe.
Tfs Richard

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-04-16 9:34]

Hello James,
What a beauty to celebrate your 250th with!!
Congratulations and I look forward to the next 250!! This is a wonderful profile of the Leopard against the light and with the patch of sun on its back. Excellent sharpness and colours. I like the few grasses and the warm background. Very well done!
Many thanks and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-04-16 11:09]

Hi James

Congratulations on the 250th post. The light on the back of the neck is just beautiful. The details and the pose are stunning. Wonderful framing and POV



  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-04-17 7:36]

Hello James,
What a perfect shot! Ideal attitude of the leopard, very pleasant background. It will be for sure one of my favourites.

  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-04-17 22:17]

Hello James,
A great Leopard portait to mark your 250th posting!
The light management is superb and the composition against a natural bokeh shows it up in a fine way. The esthetic and technical aspects, in other words, are top class and make this one of the best leaopard portraits that I have seen!
Thanks for sharing it,
Regards, Ivan

Hello James,
A fantastic picture for your 250th.
Excellent POV and DOF.
Very good sharpness and details.
Beautiful play of light on the Leopardess.
It looks elegant in this pose captured.
Congratulations on your 250th and thanks for sharing this picture,

Hi James;

Apologies mate I must have missed this along the way, firstly congratulations on your 250th posting, and what a image to celebrate with, stunning shot of this leopardess, the lighting is just beautiful, showing excellent detail, perfect separation from the OOF background, and secondly this whole serious you've done in South Africa is just amazing loved every image looking forward to seeing more, many thanks.

Cheers Rick :)

Hi James
Congratulations on your 250th post.
Beautiful photo. Fantastic animal, great POV and beautiful light and colors Nothing to critique ;-)

PS I am waiting for another 250th photos ;-)

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