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Thread: A Cold Bear

  1. #1

    Default A Cold Bear



    This was taken at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo. I had managed to push my way to the front of a crowd so that I was only separated by the tank's glass. The bear was swimming rapid circles, coming close to the glass and turning at the last moment in a game of "flinch". I was simply awed at how gracefully and powerfully it moved through the water...and I had to wonder (a little skeptically) if the glass would withstand a direct hit. I had to move to one side in order to capture the subject through the glass while minimising and trying to avoid the reflections of the crowd in the glass.

    I was trying to capture that graceful and powerful aspect of the bear as it reached the point of turning in its circle.

    Personally, I like the image, I would have liked a little less cavitation (bubbles) around the subject and I think its a pity that there was not enough light to maybe reflect a glint from his eye. But I find that the image is well balanced with the focus being on his head and the body fading into the water behind. I do wonder if PP could adjust the WB to brighten the subject a little but overall it is one of my most favourite photos especially since it was one of the first few hundred I took with digital.

    I am seeking input into the composition as a means to showing the graceful and powerful nature of the bear? How could I have improved in this goal?
    Canon 400D + BG-E3 . EF-S 17-85mm 4-5.6 IS . EF 75-300mm 4-5.6 IS
    http://aselley.zenfolio.com/

  2. #2

    Default Re: A Cold Bear

    WOW!...3 days and no comments...surely its not that good :-)
    Canon 400D + BG-E3 . EF-S 17-85mm 4-5.6 IS . EF 75-300mm 4-5.6 IS
    http://aselley.zenfolio.com/

  3. #3

    Default Re: A Cold Bear

    hey I do like this pic, it's not easy to capture animals, or mammals in this case, especially when he/she's moving rapidly like you said.

    Personally, I would like more cavitations, and maybe focus on the upper body instead. I don't quite like the rocks beneath and also box/pillar behind the bear, kinda distracting.

    If showing graceful and powerful nature is what you want to achieve, I think the "flow" and "movement" of those cavitations by the bear can also help portray that feeling better, of course not too much, but good enough to add on to the beauty of the bear.

    Just my two cents.

  4. #4

    Default Re: A Cold Bear

    Quote Originally Posted by jueluo View Post
    hey I do like this pic, it's not easy to capture animals, or mammals in this case, especially when he/she's moving rapidly like you said.

    Personally, I would like more cavitations, and maybe focus on the upper body instead. I don't quite like the rocks beneath and also box/pillar behind the bear, kinda distracting.

    If showing graceful and powerful nature is what you want to achieve, I think the "flow" and "movement" of those cavitations by the bear can also help portray that feeling better, of course not too much, but good enough to add on to the beauty of the bear.

    Just my two cents.
    Thanks...I agree with the rocks and box/pillar behind...wish my PS skills were better

    Here is a closer view of just it's head (but again the box/pillar thing is a little distracting), http://aselley.zenfolio.com/p1687604...60be#h36d060be
    Canon 400D + BG-E3 . EF-S 17-85mm 4-5.6 IS . EF 75-300mm 4-5.6 IS
    http://aselley.zenfolio.com/

  5. #5

    Default Re: A Cold Bear

    Quote Originally Posted by aselley View Post
    Thanks...I agree with the rocks and box/pillar behind...wish my PS skills were better
    Here is a closer view of just it's head (but again the box/pillar thing is a little distracting), http://aselley.zenfolio.com/p1687604...60be#h36d060be
    Thanks! I do like that pic more! I guessed if you shot this with a macro objective those bubbles would be even more fascinating but since it's not, this is pretty good for a cropped pic!

    On a side note, now you've cropped it, the bear sad expression looks even more obvious, or is it all polar bears have that expression? The "I've seen all life" look?

    Once again, thanks!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: A Cold Bear

    I think the inclusion of such many bubbles is what makes your picture successful. You might want to do some PP to blur out the background, since it's so distracting. Is the image focused, it's too bad considering it might make a good wallpaper. If it's hard to focus on the animal you could pre-determine your focus distance and let the animal come to you instead of playing hunt-the-AF-point. Of course you might need a tripod to hold the position and factor in whether Mr Polar Bear swims the same route everytime. So I don't want to consider the man-hours involved in that. Heh.

  7. #7

    Default Re: A Cold Bear

    Quote Originally Posted by foxtwo View Post
    I think the inclusion of such many bubbles is what makes your picture successful. You might want to do some PP to blur out the background, since it's so distracting. Is the image focused, it's too bad considering it might make a good wallpaper. If it's hard to focus on the animal you could pre-determine your focus distance and let the animal come to you instead of playing hunt-the-AF-point. Of course you might need a tripod to hold the position and factor in whether Mr Polar Bear swims the same route everytime. So I don't want to consider the man-hours involved in that. Heh.
    You are so right about the tripod. I took this on my first trip only weeks after buying my first DSLR and at that point I had not even considered a tripod a needed tool.

    I wonder if Zoo's would let us set up a camp by desired exhibits to get the perfect shot? hehe
    Canon 400D + BG-E3 . EF-S 17-85mm 4-5.6 IS . EF 75-300mm 4-5.6 IS
    http://aselley.zenfolio.com/

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    singapore
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    Default Re: A Cold Bear

    Quote Originally Posted by aselley View Post
    You are so right about the tripod. I took this on my first trip only weeks after buying my first DSLR and at that point I had not even considered a tripod a needed tool.

    I wonder if Zoo's would let us set up a camp by desired exhibits to get the perfect shot? hehe
    Well get a good stable tripod. Here's a good read by fellow Cs denniskee.

    As long as you don't take up too much space and bother other people it shouldn't be an issue I believe. Offer them any good pictures you get if they make it an issue.

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