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Cheetah on Tree Stump

Cheetah standing on tree stump, Mashatu Game Reserve
Caption: Cheetah standing on elevated tree stump, Mashatu Game Reserve in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, Botswana. © Scotch Macaskill

Camera: Canon EOS 450D (Canon Rebel XSi 12.2MP); Lens: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM; Focal length: 105mm; Shutter speed: 1/125; Aperture: f/8; ISO: 400; Exposure compensation: +1.3

Cheetah like to mark their territories by spraying urine and will usually do this on an elevated observation point, typically large rocks, termite mounds, and tree stumps. These marking sites are regularly visited by both resident and migrant cheetah and provide information about the local cheetah social structure.

The above photo was taken against strong backlighting in late afternoon. To compensate for the backlighting and avoid the cheetah and tree stump looking like a silhouette, I used exposure compensation of +1.3 stops. This over-exposed the background, leaving it very washed out. Because of this, I opted to convert the image to black and white and also gave it a cream tone.

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