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Snow leopard in winter
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Wednesday, January 02, 2019
By Jim Zuckerman
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Sometimes I try to decide which of the big cats I think is the most beautiful. It's a hard decision. My top three favorites are jaguars, tigers, and snow leopards. I photographed this snow leopard in one of my winter workshops just before I went digital. I have to say it's a compelling experience looking into that amazing face with those steel-blue eyes. So beautiful. I've always liked the body language in this shot because of the low crouch and the fact that the long tail is extended nicely. My film camera back then, the Mamiya RZ 67, was totally manual, so that meant every time the cat moved I had to refocus manually. And the fastest shutter I had was 1/400, so any kind of action would most likely not be sharp. It was a frustrating way to photograph wildlife, but my rationale was that when I got something good, it was breathtaking as well as competitive with all the 35mm shooters. My settings would have been 1/250, f/5.6, Fujichrome Provia 100.

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