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Uncia uncia. (38)
|The snow leopard (Uncia uncia).|
The snow leopard is a cat of average size. The body measures between 1m and 1,50m, and the tail is rather long: approximately 80cm.
Its fur, very thick, is clear gray to yellowish, and carries black tasks and ocellas.
Its legs are rather short, and the feet comprise bearings broad and equipped with dense hairs which facilitate its displacements on snow.
It lives in the mountainous areas of the Himalayas and the Central Asia (Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal...).
It moves and hunts out in the rock grounds and bush, and we can see it only rarely below the limit of the trees.
It is an efficient predator, and eats wild sheep and goat's, ibexes. Its preys are often really larger than itself. It hunts lonely.
It reaches its sexual maturity around three years old. The coupling takes place in winter, then the two parents separate. Gestation lasts 100 surroundings days, then the mother gives life to 2 to 5 smalls, who will remain with her approximately one year.
Its splendid fur and the destruction of its habitat threatens its survival very seriously, and it would remain less than 2500 individuals in a wild state.
The park of "les Félins d’Auneau", where this shot was taken, is part of european and international programs for the safeguard of cat-like threatened.
|Altered Image #1|
Colour painting, select contrast/sharp
|Just a quick attempt to see whether the effect of the out of focus leaf could be removed from the top of the Leopard's head.|
The leaf caused three effects, firstly a softening of detail, second a slight colour change, and finally a loss of contrast - so the challenge is to fix them!
Contrast was corrected using Lasso tool (feathered 5px), grab an area and then increase the contrast +5 and optionally reduce brightness a little, deselect. That process was repeated until the head had roughly the correct brightness all the way across. The reason I used a repeated grab/deselect was that otherwise you'll see a boundary where the process was repeated, if you grab a slightly different area each time then a boundary line is less likely to form.
NewLayerViaCopy, sharpened the new layer with USM to reduce the softness - then used a soft-edged eraser to knock out the areas we don't need sharpened.
Finally used eyedropper to grab an area of the correct colour, and used Airbrush in Color mode at 10% to paint the colour back to roughly the correct value.
I hope you like it :)