I decided to take a brief moment and step away from the western theme which I had been pursuing whole heartily and post an image which I had shot on a recent trip to the zoo with fellow photographers Lynne and Joe. We had heard that there were two new additions to the snow leopard family as two cubs had been bred in captivity. They are expected to remain at the zoo for the next 6 months before being sent of to other zoos. Given the limited time frame and the limited time they are on exhibit on a daily basis – 11:00am to 12:00pm, I decided to take the trip and see if I could capture a keepsake.Thankfully, I did in this photo of a sneaking, stealthy snow leopard cub.
He had just climbed the rock face and was making his way to the front of the rock but not in a trotting, playful manner. Instead, he choose to sneak in. With his head down, eyes straight ahead and careful placement of his paws, he made his way slowly around the corner of the rock.
I tried to recapture that feeling of being stalked by a predator in this image and I will be the first admit that shooting him was no easy task. The snow leopard has a light brown colour with dark brown spots, And, in this man-made environment which simulates the same sort of habitat he would have inhabited in the wild, he blends in very well – almost vanishing. In colour, it was almost impossible to distinguish the young cub from the rocks which surrounded him and, to me, would not have revealed him as much without the treatment I gave it in black and white. Besides makding the leopard easier to distinguish from the surrounding rock, I found that the black and white treatment helped the leopard to pop more in the environment. Of course, this is not how it would appear in the wild, and it should not. But it certainly helps the viewer to see the creature.
Had there been actual pray around the corner of that rock, it would not have stood a chance given the way the cub was creeping around the corner. But, given there wasn’t any, I guess I am satisfied in just capturing the movements of this stealthy snow leopard cub.