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Honolulu Zoo
1st PlaceHonolulu Zoo
Jovan


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Promote Your Zoo (Advanced Editing VII*)
Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR DG IF-ED
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Date: Jun 3, 2009
Aperture: f/4
ISO: 400
Shutter: 1/640
Galleries: Animals, Advertisement
Date Uploaded: Jun 4, 2009

So just one week ago I won my first ribbon, a blue no less. Two weeks ago, my thoughts about winning a ribbon and/or scoring a 7+ were "maybe someyear". Now, I've won two challenges and scored a 7.98...?!? Honestly, I'm trying to figure out how to put into words what I feel about this.

I'm on vacation from Hawaii now, visiting family and it's like I'm in some parallel world where I actually win ribbons on DPC. Seriously, this doesn't feel real. Going into this challenge, I would've been shocked to have received a 6.9...which would've been my highest score ever.

I knew something funny was going on when I had 50 votes or so, a 7.5ish score and it wasn't going down like it "always does". Coming into Sunday, I was actually sitting at 8.01 for a while! I can't believe that. I honestly thought I would never score this high.

Okay, so about the image. A lot of people commented if this was real or not...or even taken in a zoo. Well, this is in fact REAL and it was taken at the Honolulu Zoo.

The zoo itself is, IMO, just average. However, this area of the zoo is nice because you can get some shots without fences/cages in your way. In this particular instance, there is a clear plastic wall directly beneath my lens that I'm just tall enough to shoot over. The ridge in the background is the popular landmark Diamond Head.

Up until arriving at the cheetah exhibit, my best picture was of a duck, so I'd like to thank this guy for showing up. Walking toward the exhibit, some people were complaining that they couldn't see any cheetahs. Almost right when I got there, this one walked up from behind the rock and struck a pose for about 10 seconds and ran off. I like to think he arrived just so I would win this challenge. :)

As for processing, the main thing I did was tonemap the RAW file in Photomatix. This helped balance out the light and bring out some detail in the cheetah. In Photoshop, I used a layer mask on a duplicate layer in multiply mode to selectively reduce the exposure around the cat, which I think helped make him stand out. Otherwise, the rest of the editing wasn't particularly anything special.

Here is the original:
799467.jpg

Thank you for all of the votes and wonderful comments!

Statistics
Place: 1 out of 87
Avg (all users): 7.9817
Avg (commenters): 9.0952
Avg (participants): 7.6000
Avg (non-participants): 8.1261
Views since voting: 10125
Views during voting: 466
Votes: 164
Comments: 69
Favorites: 25 (view)


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AuthorThread
06/21/2009 12:03:03 AM
OMG! This is absolutley amazing! CONGRATS!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2009 11:15:02 AM
Incredible shot, but one thing I noticed is that you had no votes of 1, 2 or 3. There is usually some troll that dings a great picture, but that didn't happen here. That's an achievement in itself and testifies to how great a shot this is.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/17/2009 05:22:54 PM
There's no need to be modest...This is the best photo seen on DPC for quite some time, as is illustrated by the score. 37 10s is something really special in this day and age on DPC. Very well done to you. (It'd have been 38 if I got round to voting lol)

The clarity of tones, the sharpness and details in this shot are truly exceptional.

I can't wait to see what you'll get blue with next week ;-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/17/2009 03:50:37 PM
Congratulations on a very well deserved blue and high score. This is such a wonderful photograph in every way!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/17/2009 08:08:06 AM
beauiful picture...really jumps out at ya...Nice
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/17/2009 07:34:57 AM
Fantastic shoot
Congrats
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/17/2009 01:01:06 AM
Congratulations on your blue ribbon and amazing high score!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/16/2009 02:49:57 PM
This is just about as good a cat picture as I've ever seen on DPC. The surround is so astonishing I actually wondered if this was a stuffed animal in a diorama... Simply an excellent capture and a fine, almost surrealistic, job of post processing. Congrats on a well-deserved blue and a world-class high score.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/16/2009 02:30:51 AM
wow, congrats on the 2nd blue in a week. both pics were well deserving and i esp like the that they were taken in honolulu.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 11:16:37 PM
I'm glad to see this was real. Though I doubted I gave you an 8. I know cheetah's do OK with people, but they are fast and you can't see any barrier in this shot. Was this a hill in the middle of a fenced off area? Congratulations on a well done shot and a well deserved ribbon! I can't believe how perfectly everything worked. The perfection was the main reason for my doubt.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 09:17:35 PM
Yup. Thanks for the details of the shot. Well done, indeed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 09:10:52 PM
Just an all-around great job. Thanks for posting the details. Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 02:47:55 PM
Masterful processing on a powerful image!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 12:35:51 PM
Excellent work - congrats on the blue!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 11:17:29 AM
Wow! I'm in awe. By the photo itself. The story. And that SCORE! Many many congratulations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 10:36:55 AM
Beautiful!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 10:14:44 AM
Congrats on your wonderful Blue. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 10:03:24 AM
even the original image before post processing is awesome.. it never occured to me this couldn't be "real".. LOL.. I love love love it..
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 09:29:32 AM
Great shot. Tonemapping a single image had not occurred to me. A nice idea and result.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 09:17:06 AM
Thanks for posting the extra info and the original. You did an amazing job with the editing! This is such a striking photo. Congrats on winning the blue!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 09:11:06 AM
Fantastic! I know right where you were standing, I was there in Feb. and I waited forever in that spot and he never came around. Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 07:54:05 AM
Congrats with an spetacular shot, awesome score and a well deserved win. Two blue ribbons in row, what a run you are on!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 05:43:06 AM
Pretty good effort ;-Þ. It was a safe bet that big cats would be among the ribbon winners. yep, there are two of them.

Congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 04:57:24 AM
Certainly deserved! The photographers notes are interesting and informative, too - thanks for taking the time to add them.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 04:33:10 AM
Congrats, was over there in `feb never got to the Zoo though, oh well, next time.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 03:35:36 AM
Lovely work congratulations
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 03:25:29 AM
Fantastic score for an excellent image! Huge congrats on your blue ribbon and PB, Jon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 02:42:39 AM
Beautiful processing work...excellent image. Congrats.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 02:32:59 AM
Wow - what a score! Congrats! Very well put together. Pinch yourself. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 02:27:04 AM
Simply awesome and a well deserved ribbon. Thanks for deconstructing the post processing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 02:17:30 AM
OK, you can retire now. :-) I'm betting the zoo would love to have a copy of this - it would make an awesome poster. And I'm still trying to figure out how they keep the cheetah in the zoo... looks like he could just head for the hills any time he wanted to. This says alot for both your photograph and the way the zoo has the exhibit set up. 'Grats all around!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 12:50:40 AM
on fire- congrats on another blue ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 12:44:17 AM
Knew this would come out on top... Beautiful job! Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 12:27:57 AM
King of the Hill!! Great shot - congratulations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 12:21:16 AM
ON A ROLL, jon, well done. Essentially a perfect shot, congrats on that monster score
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 12:16:06 AM
Wow! That says it all.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 12:15:11 AM
Congrats on the blue! It's a beautiful image. Very well done.

Now... tell all. :)

I'm guessing this is a stuffed animal in a museum exhibit with a mural behind... Or is it actually alive??
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 12:13:26 AM
Wow! Nearly an 8! That will put you in top 50 for the site history.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 12:11:57 AM
Congrats on a very well deserved blue ribbon and a new personal best!

  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 12:06:30 AM
Congratz! Whata score!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 12:04:03 AM
congratulations on an amazing photograph and near 8 score .. WOW .. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 12:03:57 AM
Congarats. I assumed this one was a display of some sort (stuffed animal and fake background). Any chance we'll get more info?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 12:03:57 AM
NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 12:02:26 AM
Congrats on the Blue !! One of my two 10s. SPECTACULAR !!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2009 12:02:09 AM
Beautiful, congratulations on the blue.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
06/14/2009 05:28:46 PM
Nicely captures both the cheetah and some rather stunning scenery. I would not have guessed this was taken in a zoo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/14/2009 04:35:20 PM
Beautiful shot and animal, the composition works really well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/14/2009 10:47:48 AM
Lovley, sharp, and well composed. The colors are good, too. (not voting)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/13/2009 07:37:47 PM
This shot is stunning. Beautifully crisp, glorious colours and a wonderful subject. I can see this easily taking the blue.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/13/2009 02:56:11 PM
one of the most amazing animal pictures I've ever seen in my life.. the clarity and color is so fabulous I just can't take my eyes off of this..
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/13/2009 12:58:55 PM
Great capture indeed, looks more like an African safari. One of the tops for sure ;) You've shown this Zoo in a beautiful way!

Message edited by author 2009-06-15 10:12:22.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/13/2009 10:49:03 AM
Super excellent photo and nice twist on the spelling of my city of birth. It's been years and years since I've been to the Zoo in Honolulu and it looks like it's changed a little - I don't recall views like this, but oh well... Your photo should be a serious ribbon contender.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/13/2009 02:32:58 AM
Cute title. Is this real or a stuffed cheetah with a painted background? I wish I knew before voting. If it's live it's excellent setup and lighting. If a museum someone else did a great job. I'll give you the benefit of a doubt. In any case it's nicely done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/12/2009 04:47:12 AM
Very nicely captured and very good promotional poster.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/11/2009 01:57:43 PM
Holy cow - really does look like a poster! Is the background real or have they set it up to look that way? Or is this not a zoo at all? Excellent light, comp, color, focus, etc.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/11/2009 01:01:37 PM
beautiful light...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/11/2009 09:31:41 AM
This is the first photo that comes up for me in voting, and I have to believe this is a ribbon winner. Awesome photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/10/2009 11:20:54 PM
Back for bump and comment. Excellent job capturing the animal in what appears to be a mostly natural area. Clarity on the cat is excellent. I think I may see this on the front page.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/09/2009 05:52:43 PM
imho this is by far the best shot in the challenge. I suspect a ribbon coming your way.
Nicely done. I have been to Honolulu and several times and always thought about going to the zoo and never did, now I am wishing I had.
Well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/09/2009 03:50:08 PM
Wow! Excellent idea and capture. Good job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/09/2009 12:37:02 AM
Amazing!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/08/2009 09:24:32 PM
Excellent all around! My top pick.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/08/2009 09:22:30 PM
This should get the BLUE in my view...bumping to 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/08/2009 07:35:06 PM
Jeez makes me glad I didn't enter my cheetah shot! Very good work, lots of nice sat, comp good. 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/08/2009 03:05:51 PM
wow.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/08/2009 01:29:35 PM
Simply stunning...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/08/2009 11:18:05 AM
Superb!Lovely focus and color 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/08/2009 08:50:27 AM
Wonderful , back to bump up to a 10. The best of the bunch IMO.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/08/2009 07:50:54 AM
excellent my only 10 thus far -10-
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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