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Baby Face

Baby Face
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-10-11
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Digital ISO 125
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite African animal photos [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-01-11 13:36
Viewed: 10899
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 118
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Spotted Hyaena / Crocuta crocuta

I have come to realise that photographing various kinds of animals whether it being birds, mammals, insects or reptiles, creates a different emotion or excitement within me, as I am sure many of you feel the same. A cute and loveable baby animal face or playful interaction between the youngsters is my soft spot and I cannot let it pass without the normal expressions like "it's so cute" or "isn't it so adorable" or even "ag shame" and many more "oohs" and "aahs". That is one of the reasons why I enjoy the images of the foxes in Bob's (bobair) portfolio so much.

One late afternoon, in the Skukuza area, the low lying sun was casting long shadows and warm colours on the surrounding environment. We came across two young hyaena cubs lying under a tree at the side of the S1 Doispane Road. Neither their mom nor any other hyaenas of the pack was in sight. Loot showed me the entrance to their den (nearby), as we encountered interaction with some of the members of this very same pack on previous visits to the park, at the exact same spot. They were very playful and it was very touching seeing the two of them together. They were both also very cooperative with us taking photos and were not bothered by the car or the camera at all. In fact at some times it looked as if they enjoyed the attention and posed and played model with ease, as you can see this one looking straight at the camera.

Unfortunately a number of the images I took of the two playing and wrestling each other is somewhat out of focus (due to the softish light and their movements) and I cannot use them as I would loved to. These little ones really spoiled us by ways of their innocence of babyhood, unspoiled nature and playful manner. So unsophisticated and care free, lovingly and adorable.

Next time I have the opportunity to capture hyaena cubs or any baby animal, I'll make sure to first take the images and leave the "oohs" and "aahs" for afterwards, making sure I have enough time to capture "in focus shots". Oops! I hope I can remember this and that I am not at the time once again been bowled over by the cuteness factor of nature.

One cannot but fall in love with them, and it is difficult to think that it is the same animal, which are described in my general overview.

General Overview
Nature's garbage remover is an apt label for the spotted hyaena, which has an astonishing appetite. It consumes its own prey and scavenged carrion with equal gusto and relish, swallowing large chunks of meat noisily and voraciously. Packs of hyaenas have been known to dig up and eat human corpses, and examinations of stomach contents have turned up such bizarre items as the sole of a shoe, nails, elephant skin, rope and a corned beef tin.

The shoulders and sloping back are supported in front by extremely powerful forelegs capable of running fast, knocking down prey and carrying it off for home consumption. Its heavy teeth and jaws can shred tough carcasses in minutes, splintering bones that defeat all other carnivores; its digestive system processes bone, sinew and hide with ease.

The spotted hyaena moves in packs or clans that average 3-30 animals, sometimes up to 80. Each pack marks out its territory with scents from anal glands, glands between its toes, latrines and boundary patrolling.

With strength in numbers, this animal will drive lions and leopards from their kills, attack cattle kraals and even, after dark, solitary humans. With excellent night vision and acute senses of smell and hearing, spotted hyaenas hunt successfully in the dark, flying over the veld like spectral shadows at speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour.

Hyaenas have no particular breeding season. One or two cubs are born in a burrow where they are protected for several months before joining the pack.

Taken from: Animals of the Kruger Park and Lowveld - Heritage Publishing.

I hope you enjoyed looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

Maite, Heaven, bobair, Adanac, crs, Juyona, maurydv, PeterZ, uleko, Alex99, eng55, anel, chrisruth, Noisette, CeltickRanger, xTauruSx, bahadir, zulfu, soccer, Aaltjie, Argus, haraprasan, Metin, Dis. Ac., nkasot, cypturk, boreocypriensis, ferranjlloret, vanderschelden, jusninasirun, marhowie, Tamrock, waylim, horia has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2009-01-11 13:40]

Hello Anna
I would have never thought that a Spotted Hyaena could look so cute, but this one is sooooo cute! It's a magnificent portrait with great sharpness and good DOF. I love it.
Thank you very much for sharing.
Best wishes

Very cute face. Lovely pic. All perfect: pose, details, light, POV.

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2009-01-11 17:39]

Hello Anna

Greetings from Chile. A lovely pose with wonderful detail. As you say there is a sort of inniocence here which is very appealing.


Hi Anna,
thanks for making mention of my cute fox photos and I agree that young furry animals do have such appealing and cute looking faces and some stay that way even when they are adults,chipmunks are a very good example of being permanently cute.This young animal has that fresh faced look of innocence to it but as an adult,that is altogether a different matter but as a cub it has the appeal of being cute.This capture has wonderfully sharp details and that soft light in it's eye is so nice as it gives the animal a gentle look that won't be there for long as an adult.Hyena's have got a lot of bad press and probably deserve better and I just know you respect them and wouldn't do them any harm as is my way of being,even if I am not overly fond of them.Live and let live as all life here wants to be.Thanks for sharing this young predator/scavenger and thank you for showing the gentle side of this species. Bob

  • Great 
  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2009-01-11 18:14]

Hi Anna!

This hyaena is cute, and you have put it well on stage. It seems that the young cub looks at you. I also like the unity of the colour tones very much. Together with the soft light this creates a fine and very pleasant ambience.

The picture gets its full impact and dimension once one has read your notes. You are not only a good photographer, but also a good writer! I especially like the narrative part of your notes that allow to get into a story that is completed by a beautiful picture. Some passages of your text could equally concern children. Both, text and picture, express a great respect and love for nature.

Kind regards


  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2009-01-11 18:18]

Hello Anna,
There is few things in the world that almost everyone agrees on, but you hit it here, babies of any kind bring the same reaction from us all. This pleasant close up of this young hyaena, you have captured the innocence of youth. Techniquely extremely well done Anna. Thank you.


Even though this little guy will grow up to be a 'not so cute' Hyaena, at this stage of its life it sure is beautiful. Not to say that the adults are not special in their own way, but youngsters of all species are always a pleasure to watch (and photograph if you get a chance). I bet this experience was a thrill. It is too bad that some of the other shots didn't come out quite well. Maybe next time :)

Best Regards,


Hello Anna

A wonderful portrait of this baby hyena.They are cute at that age.
The essence of the animal is captured within it's beautiful eyes.
A mixture of curiosity and wonderment.
Lovely POV and DOF.
The light is well handled.
Excellent sharp detail.


  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2009-01-11 21:43]

Hallo Anna,

You have made a very nice portret to this young hyaena. The animal had a very nice pose at the moment you took the photo and you have made good use of it. The image is very sharps howing good details of the face. The soft light has been nicely used getting fine and naturaly looking colors.

Thank you for sharing,

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2009-01-11 23:06]

Hola amiga,
preciosa captura,
bello encuadre y detalles...
atractiva mirada y color.
saludos Anna.

Great picture, as usual, Anna. Lighting is perfect, very sharp, good pose, all in all a really great pic. As for the subject matter, I wont go "oooohhh" or "aaaaahhh" , I will go "awwwwwwww sweeetttt"
Well done!

  • Great 
  • valy67 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1727 W: 59 N: 3060] (9219)
  • [2009-01-11 23:58]

Hello Anna !
Adult hyenas are not specially beautiful, but this baby is so cute ! Sorry to say this, it has been said so many times, but there is not other word to describe it. You were so lucky to witness their games, it must have been such a great moment - something you may never forget ! And the picture you brought back is splendid, I like everything here - sharpness, details, colors, composition, POV, and this wonderful look on the baby hyena's face... COngratulations !

Ciao Anna,
bellissimo ritratto di cucciolo di iena, un animale verso cui proviamo più facilmente avversione, ma i tipici tratti del giovane animale con i grandi occhi che guardano suscitano un'immediata tenerezza e toccano i nostri profondi ed ancestrali bisogni di proteggere e di essere protetti; eccellenti POV e composizione stretta con ottima definizione e bellissimi dettagli, magnifici i colori.

beautiful portrait with perfect details , good light and colours , nice DOF ,

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-01-12 3:14]

Hello Anna,
What a lovely expression. Fantastic portrait of this young hyaena. Perfect sharp details and POV. Very beautiful natural colours and a great DOF and composition. High quality!

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-01-12 3:16]

Hello Anna,
Yes, these are animals with rather a bad reputation and I don't know why because I really like them! This is a fantastic close portrait that illustrates their beauty! I love the shape of their ears and the shape of the head. Beautiful brown eyes too. Excellent details here and very nice natural light and colours. Very well done!
Thank you and best wishes, Ulla

Merhaba Anna,vahşihayatta olsa,doğal hayatta olsa,tüm canlıların bebekleri çok sevimli oluyorlar.Onlarda da bizlerin yavrularındaki saflığı ve korunmasızlığı hissediyoruz.Nekadar şirin bakmış objektife.Ne oluduğunu algılamaya çalışır gibi,birazda şaşkın.ÇOk sevdim bu fotoğrafını,çok şirin,ellerine sağlık :)

Nice close-up of the hyena. I like the sparkle in the eyes. Good details too.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-01-12 5:54]

Hi Anna.
I know not everybody like this species. Personally I like all animals (may be caterpillars are not pleasant for me sometimes :). However, it is impossible to love pictured by you creature. It is simply charming, especially expression of its eyes. Terrific picture, full of love to animals and which reflects the highest skill of photographer. My congratulations and thanks for this beauty.

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-01-12 6:52]

Hi Anna,
Very nice portrait of this Hyaena.Exposure is spot on,focus couldn't be better.I liked expression on face,sharpness,details,DOF and expression on face a lot.
Thanks for posting.

hello Anna
Beautiful picture
nice sharpness and good colours
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-01-12 7:50]

Hello Anna,
All babies are cute, even those of hyaenae. A very cute portrait and what sweet eyes !Wonderful harmonious colors all over the shot. I like your framing a lot too. I have seen a film on hyaenae and they were terrible, but at the same time they seem to be very useful as "garbage-cleaners".
Superb picture and interesting note. Thanks a lot.
Best regards

Hello Anna

Baie Dankie vir die mooi foto en die byskrywende notas. Dis 'n pragtige foto van die baba Hyaena. Ek hou van die manier hoe die fokus op sy gesiggie is en hou dit die foto so lewendig maak. Goeie lig, skerpheid en kontras. Wel gedaan.

hello anna,
fine capture of the spotted hyaena, i liked the composition, the pov, the details captured very much, this animal looks good in this lovely picture,
well done,
tfs & regards

Hi Anna,
normaly I don't like Hyaenas so much, don't ask me why - but this one is realy lovely, we can see that it is not old and the eyes are so beautiful. It seems you were standing right in front of it, so close, it's amazing.
Thanks, very good shot
Sabine - wishnugaruda

hello Anna
What a great Portrait of this young hyaena, the eye contact is very impressive. crisp clear details on his face and his fur
just a perfect shot
very well done

hello Anna

yesterday when i saw the portrait photo lovely African
wild animal baby, all my 20 critiques where done,
so i decided for today it will be my first critique,

very beautiful portrait photo of the Spotted Hyaena puppy
shot with fine POV and framing, beautiful warm colour tones,
excellent sharpness and details, and a wonderful
innocent glance of the Hyaena puppy to you, TFS


  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2009-01-12 20:26]

Hello anna, So innocent look and looking for love and affection. The picture is so cute and thank yu for sharing. Lovely pose Ganesh

Hello Anna,
I meant to remark on this beautiful mutt last night but I was so busy settin I id not finih until 1:30 PM today. But now that I am back nd looking into those big brown eyes, I do not know if I'm just being looked at in a questionable way, or if it is sizing me up for its next kill-meal. What a great closeup to one of the strongest dogs on Earth, if not the strongest, by far the strongest set of jowels on Earth. A great shot indeed, makes me jealous of you being there and me here with the rain and the occassional Blue Jay.

Hello Anna, a lovely capture of this spotted hyaena.
TFS and regards,

Hello Anna areal baby faced hyaena.Wonderful expresio. TFS.

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2009-01-13 0:34]

Hello Anna
Stunningly beautiful image of this baby-faced spotted hyaena with great facial expression.
TFS and regards,


The pic is very sharp and clear. I like the detail shown of the subject. the tight composition make for a detailed pic and the Lighting is very good. A wildlfie photographer's dream in fact! The OOF BG and DOF work well for you here and add to the quality of your image. The POV rounds off a well captured moment indeed!

Dear Anna
This “Baby Face” image of yours is very special and speaks a lot of words. The eyes penetrates one’s mind. As if he/she stares right into your past and brings out a strong message "Get out of my face, I know what you have been doing". Wow, what a shot. The feeling captured in the eyes is marvelous. You were very lucky to get such a great shot, and this photo was perfectly timed. The stopwatch was in your favour. Congratulations.
Warmest regards
Aaltjie & Hettie
ps. Hettie like the crumbs on the mouth the best.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-01-13 5:30]

Hello Anna,
..... you've got the sweetest little baby face!
As the song went!
Lovely head-portrait of this young Hyena taken from a great frontal POV in great side lighting with superb sharpness and exquisite detail.
An excellent portrait Anna and thank you for delighting us with it!

Ciao Anna, lovely portrait of cute creature in beautiful pose, good details and wonderful sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2009-01-13 7:35]

Hello Anna,
Wonderful capture.POV,colors,sharpness and details are excellent.TFS.

Hi Anna,
A lovely captured portrait of this spotted hyena. Superb details and a lovely composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hello Anna,
Great capture, beautiful colors, superb sharpnes,
wonderful details and great facial expression.

Hi Anna,

Suburp portrait picture of this Hyaena.
Good of sharpness and with good details and beautiful colours.


Hello Anna a beautiful faced spoted hyaena with excelent details and nice pose. TFS.

Hi Anna,
Excellent shot of this elegant looking spotted hyaena.
Very impressive sharpness and lovely colours.
I liked the natural surroung here.
Tfs and regards,

Hello Anna,
This is unique capture by you of this little hyena. Irrespective what so ever they are, the baby face has its own charisma which can not be overlooked by anyone. This little fellows’ innocent expressions are well shot by you with superb eye contact. In fact, they know it very well who loves them & who hates. The attractive expression of love is well reflected by its eyes & through TN to all of us from Kruger Park - Skukuza. TFS. Cheers :)

Hi Anna,
Just like a small baby:)! I do not how you had the time to capture it so well. This is so good and funny too with your excellent note.
The expression of this hyaena is so incridible!
I like much this presentation, the luminous rendered of colors and the great simplicity of the image. Clear and sharp!
TFS this fine portrait image Anna.


Hello Anna,
Very very excellent portrait of this Spotted Hyaena, perfect sharpness and very fine details. TFS. Best regards. Ferran.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2009-01-15 23:33]

You even make this hyaena look cute!! But no, I don't think I would like him for a pet.
Very good close-up of him, nice and sharp and the focus is spot on.
Well done Anna

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-01-16 11:28]

Hi Anna,it's a strange portrait,this face is tender and mysterious....obviously i can't comment the top quality of this pic,always perfect from your hands..eheheh..my best compliments,have a nice weekend,Luciano

Very cute and innocent face. Love the composition.


Hierdie outjie het vir my 'n baie hartseer uitdrukking in die gesit. Foto vol emosie!

Hola Anna,
una bonita fotografía de esta joven hiena. Destacaría el excelente enfoque con una sobrada profundidad, la luz y lo bien que reflejaste sus ojos. El juego de colores de todo el conjunto también es muy interesante.
Un saludo y buena semana: Josep Ignasi.

Hello Anna,
I promise. You'll not get a lot of 'oohs' and 'aahs'. That's for girls.
But this a is a kind of cuuute:-))
Seriously it's very well done in terms of photography. For instance the depth of field and the point of view are both excellent.
A beautiful little one and a beautiful portrait.
Something elese..
Today I read an article in our newspaper about the crocodiles in the Olifants river in Kruger. And it wasn't fun.
TFS your work.

Hi Anna,

I have never thought that hyena can be this cute. You have framed really well in close shot against the warm glow from behind. The details of the fur and sharp eyes are just amazing in very good framing. Well written notes as always and thanks so much for sharing.

Best regards,

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2009-01-22 2:15]

Hi Anna,

A very nice portrait of this cub (I guess we might have seen the same couple a few days later),the light and colors are great in this composition,you can even see the reflections of your car in the eyes of this cub,thanks


Hi Anna,
This babes face is adorable! You've captured the lovable youngsters expression nicely, good eye contact.
Excellent POV, details, framing, and POV..
Very well done & Thank You.

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-01-30 6:18]

Hi Anna,
cute shot of this baby hyaena. Sharp and clear. the hairs are well seen in details. the facila expression is well caught and expressed by your shot.
Excellent composition.


Hi Anna,
I'm sorry if I cannot pen a detailed critique.
I love the timing of this shot.The details and modd you've captured are simply superb!
Very well done, my dear friend!

hej anna!
im melting:)
what a beaty!
perfect sharpness and exposure
good work!

  • Great 
  • waylim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 296 W: 8 N: 489] (1765)
  • [2009-02-11 23:49]

Beautiful portrait of this young Hyaena, I love it. We see a few of them, and I really enjoy looking at them. They do give an impression of being bad and ugly. I guess they are like any other animals, they survive just as nature intended to be. They eat or scavenge for food. Perhaps the most misunderstood animal. Thanks for a beautiful image of this baby.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2009-02-15 1:06]

Hi Anna

Cubs and, generally, baby animals are very cute and very photogenic. The basic idea is indeed to remember to shoot them, too, and not only be amazed by how delicate and playful they are at that stage :)
You portrait here is very nice - capturing one of those "hoough" facial expression. The details are good and the overall exposure is excellent.
The only thing i would have changed here is to try to go lower so i'd get a better, more uniform BG.
Anyway, great post!

Bravo and TFS

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