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author Greg (Greg Governale)
subjectWild life
title Guardian Of The Wild
date1/2/2005 1:06:18 PM
detailsThis Cougar was photographed in the wild just outside Riding Mountain national park in Canada. There had been a number of reports of a cougar in the area which I heard about by listening to a local radio station. I spent eight hours driving back and forth through the area where the cougar had recently been seen. Just before sunset my efforts were rewarded. Fuji S2, Nikon 400 mm f3.5, TC-14b, Window pod. Greg Governale
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blinks rating
blinks: 162.6score: 9.387voted: 48

rank: 10comments: 66viewed: 18384
version: 1recommended: 0bookmarked: 3
scores chart
This photo is only available for commenting
1 Kris Bass (peter pan is so real ))   (1/2/2005 1:09:15 PM)
This is really nice. Like that there is a nice splash of autumn colors to the right. Nice handeling of the bg. Glad you were rewarded after such a long time.

Sorry can not vote AG'd. Guess I need to give more sixes. :)
2 Greg (Greg Governale)   (1/2/2005 1:28:09 PM)
Kris, thanks for trying, I appreciate your comment. Hope everyone is having a Great New Year. Greg Governale
3 zohailz   (1/2/2005 2:06:56 PM)
wow what shot. very well balanced. keep sharing -zohailz-
4 docmm   (1/2/2005 2:12:41 PM)
There have been some awesome pics on this site today, I really hate to say it seeing all that has gone before but this is truly outstanding. A precious reward for your patience. Light, detail, colour, pose.
5 Roger Ranney (Don't block the shot)   (1/2/2005 2:33:27 PM)
Greg, how can I ever get POTD if you keep posting these grest shot?...:-} Super shot!
6 Pascal Paoli   (1/2/2005 2:46:44 PM)
This is perfect photo. Hope it was safe for you...
7 Kazimierz Morski   (1/2/2005 2:58:20 PM)
Great!!! :)K.M.
8 MJFerron   (1/2/2005 3:04:35 PM)
Outstanding photo and I admire your effort. Didn't realize cougars lived as far north as Canada.
9 Greg (Greg Governale)   (1/2/2005 3:11:54 PM)
This image was taken from my car window. I was safely inside. Cougars are very widespread. They can be found from Alaska down to Florida. In Florida it is extremely endangered. Greg Governale
10 Libby   (1/2/2005 3:14:21 PM)
perfect, what a wonderful shot
11 ckldybr (A perfect photo is just a click away)   (1/2/2005 3:17:32 PM)
Now that is the way to see a Cougar up close. From the safety of your car!! Or better yet from the safety of Den, watching it on screen. LOL. This is excellent Greg. Take care. Barb.
12 KAY (........ .......)   (1/2/2005 3:20:19 PM)
Excellent Greg....
13 Greg (Greg Governale)   (1/2/2005 3:22:28 PM)
Cougar,Mountain Lion, Panther all refer to the same animal. In different parts of the country people call them by different names. Greg Governale
14 David13   (1/2/2005 3:28:46 PM)
Wow, very strong image!
15 vsinopoulos   (1/2/2005 3:36:19 PM)
Excellent in every aspect, Bravo11
16 Bill Taylor   (1/2/2005 3:36:30 PM)
Beautiful Light! Good Work!
17 Ido T   (1/2/2005 4:03:59 PM)
Outstanding photo!!

Well Done!
18 joe bellantoni   (1/2/2005 4:06:04 PM)
stunning pose Greg...I like it!
19 Bill Houghton   (1/2/2005 4:08:59 PM)
This is an outstanding image. Congratulations!
20 Elisabeth   (1/2/2005 4:38:23 PM)
Excellent and beautiful!
21 Louise Smith   (1/2/2005 4:52:30 PM)
I'm jealous :) It's got everything, well done
22 KenNelson   (1/2/2005 5:16:25 PM)
Just Beautiful!!
23 LindaY (Linda Y)   (1/2/2005 5:42:55 PM)
Beautifully done, Greg. I particularly like the way that the light falls on the face, back and some of the chest of the cougar while the rest is softly in the shadows. The autumn colors in the background are a bonus.
24 Ivan (Ivan Miksik)   (1/2/2005 5:53:27 PM)
Excellent and perfect lighting!
25 Fransisco   (1/2/2005 6:21:40 PM)
Fantastic shot...superb, Greg!
26 Reidar   (1/2/2005 7:04:52 PM)
One word: Fantastic!!
27 ChristopherG   (1/2/2005 8:49:51 PM)
#23 Linda Y echos my sentiments exactly. Even without the lighting effect this is outstanding. Definitely worth the wait.
28 SteveB   (1/2/2005 10:08:55 PM)
Love the bright autumn colors. The lighting is excellent really allow you to see the facial expression here. Glad you were in a car.
29 Greg (Greg Governale)   (1/2/2005 11:58:57 PM)
Thank you to all the people who took the time to comment. Greg Governale
30 Yuri Bonder   (1/3/2005 12:21:17 AM)
31 Rudi Van Gestel   (1/3/2005 12:40:56 AM)
Very good!
32 Igor L. (Igor Laptev)   (1/3/2005 2:34:51 AM)
Amazing capture!
33 Jouko   (1/3/2005 2:40:24 AM)
34 herman blockx   (1/3/2005 2:54:36 AM)
reallylove how this cougar is stepping out from the cover! it looks like you applied some very effective selective to make him stand out! great shot!
35 Bas Haasnoot   (1/3/2005 3:19:57 AM)
Wonderful shot Greg! Great lightning, great experience, congrats!
36 Les McLean (**** ))   (1/3/2005 4:00:55 AM)
Not only an excellent composition, but excellent use of light. Amazing.
37 FrankT ( pot'hbe'chug yay qa)   (1/3/2005 4:05:05 AM)
Great Greg
38 Corry   (1/3/2005 4:30:09 AM)
39 blu   (1/3/2005 5:23:17 AM)
simply xlnt!
40 Lorraine54 (Don't worry be Happy and comment more)   (1/3/2005 6:37:21 AM)
Outstanding catch, I love how the cougar is bathed in both light and shadow...and the autumn colours of the b/g.
41 April (Cindy Metzger)   (1/3/2005 7:09:03 AM)
It's all been said. Stunning pose and capture Greg.
42 cARTerART (Claire Carter)   (1/3/2005 7:24:31 AM)
Yes - stunning
43 André Viegas   (1/3/2005 9:44:08 AM)
I only wish I could rate more than 10
44 Zygmunt   (1/3/2005 11:25:08 AM)
45 Rodger   (1/3/2005 1:15:14 PM)
outstanding Greg
46 Diane Parrish   (1/3/2005 1:33:02 PM)
Wow! Sure wish I could vote,this is great.Aren't they beautiful creatures.Got to love it.Diane
47 Janet Jonas   (1/3/2005 3:15:12 PM)
Good use of a levels layer or vigette to focus the viewers attention where you wanted it. Regards Janet
48 Lockhart   (1/3/2005 5:30:41 PM)
I have looked at this photograph many times and there is something that is troubling me greatly. The animal has no scratches, no marks, it is in perfect condition, and is well fed. The chances of getting a photograph like this one in the wild are about 1 in 1,000,000. Either you are very lucky, or this is a captive animal. Secondly, one does not get light like this in the wild, it looks staged as if it's keeper were putting out a nice dish of beef. If this is indeed a wild animal, shot in the wild, under perfect light, well, Greg, my hat is off to you.
49 CherylB (I only lie when I do not like your pic)   (1/3/2005 6:05:30 PM)
while I was in Yosemite they warned us not to hike alone and if a cougar attacked to fight back. I think we have about 7 left now in Florida :(

beautiful cat.
50 Larry Korhnak   (1/3/2005 6:20:51 PM)
#49 CherylB(Happy 2005): "Fight back" Poor cougar wouldn't stand a chance. :-))
51 CherylB (I only lie when I do not like your pic)   (1/3/2005 6:27:32 PM)
#50 Larry Korhnak: hisssssssssssss! meow! =^;^=
52 Amuletum ( )   (1/3/2005 8:24:08 PM)
I might have darkened the rock between his legs to match the other areas that are darkened. LOL @ Larry!
53 Kari Post   (1/3/2005 8:45:09 PM)
You are so so talented (and incredibly patient). I just love seeing your work and this is no exception. The cougar actually looks like it is posing for you. Excellent composition, DOF, sharpness, and color as usual. I love how his/her face is the brightest thing in the frame and the rest of the frame kinda subtly gets darker. Wonderful work, Greg!
54 Greg (Greg Governale)   (1/3/2005 10:23:08 PM)
in response to number 48, this cougar was cared for by humans as an infant.(the mother had been hit by a car) It was released back into the wild three years before this image was taken. It has had cubs in the wild, it hunts in the wild and is not captive in any way. There is no handler or keeper. As far as the light goes I simply used curves to enhance the magnificent light that was already there. Greg Governale
55 Greg (Greg Governale)   (1/3/2005 10:26:02 PM)
also if you look close you can see a scar going across the bridge of the nose. Just below the animals right eye. The animal was photographed in September when they are in their peak condition. Greg Governale
56 archera (Roland DiSabatino)   (1/3/2005 10:49:38 PM)
#55 Greg(Greg Governale):

I think too that on that day in September, your talent for superior wildlife photography also peaked ... absolutely.
57 Greg (Greg Governale)   (1/3/2005 10:53:52 PM)
I just tried to turn voting for this image back on. If there is a way to do that will someone please send me an email. Thank you! Greg Governale
58 Lockhart   (1/4/2005 4:41:40 AM)
#54 Greg(Greg Governale):

You said: "There had been a number of reports of a cougar in the area which I heard about by listening to a local radio station. I spent eight hours driving back and forth through the area where the cougar had recently been seen."

Now, you say the animal was cared for by humans as an infant and released back into the wild. You know the animal's history, including the fact that it has had cubs.

A very interesting relevation because you know as well as I do that an animal that has been cared for by humans has no fear of humans and will approach a human even in the wild.

Since you know so much about the Cougar, did you learn this from listening to the radio? Or, did you perchance meet the folks who raised the Cougar? And did they perchance take you to area because they knew it would approach them?

Either way, IMHO, one should judge this photograph in the same light as a photograph taken at a zoo, since there is no difference.

I hope that during my next trek across the everglades that I will be able to listen in to the radio, hear a discussion about sitings of a Florida Panther, then drive back and forth, and walla late in the evening get that fantastic shot from my car window.

I figure the odds of this happening are about one in a billion or so.

As to the image. It is well done Greg, but unfortunately you have disallowed voting.
59 Greg (Greg Governale)   (1/4/2005 1:59:20 PM)
Bill, after looking at your images and realizing you had taken the voting option away on your images, I turned the voting off on this image in hope of receiving honest and open opinions.

I did hear about the cougar on the radio. The radio station interviewed the person who released the cougar back into the wild. Through the interview I learned about the cougar having the cubs. I also learned that the cougar had been released back into the wild three years before this image was taken.I have never met any of the people involved with raising or releasing the cougar.I found the cougar on my own and it was not captive in any way. If you want to consider this a zoo shot that is OK with me, you are entitled to your own opinion. All I can do is lay out the facts surrounding the image and let people decide. Respectfully Greg Governale
60 CherylB (I only lie when I do not like your pic)   (1/4/2005 2:06:32 PM)
#57 Greg(Greg Governale): you can't..once changed that's it.
61 Miguel Lasa   (1/6/2005 4:53:52 AM)
Superb photo Greg, the light and pose are fantastic, well done
62 gdanger (George Dangerfield)   (1/6/2005 10:38:39 AM)
I do not understand Bill Lockhart's point here. This cat is living in the wild currently and the image has been taken in the wild, there are no signs of man present. There is no reason to consider this a 'zoo' shot. If we wanted to we could go on a similar tangent and call his African safari posts 'zoo' shots too. They were taken in game preserves that are essentially huge zoos, where tourists such as Bill are driven right up to the 'wild' animals by guides. But I grow weary of people nitpicking about whether an image should be posted in one category or another. But even more disturbing to me is when people start questioning the integrity of others here.
63 Greg (Greg Governale)   (1/6/2005 2:49:04 PM)
George #62, I appreciate your comment and understand what you are saying. I try to disclose information about my images. If a biologist has helped me, or if radio tracking equipment was used I let people know. Some subjects are extremely common and photographed millions of times each day. Some subjects are very elusive and rarely photographed. In the professional marketplace rare subjects are worth more money, especially when they're not captive. An eagle tethered to a post is not worth much to the people I deal with, even when it is technically nearly perfect. Every individual has the right to make up their own mind about the subject, I have my opinion, you have your opinion and Bill has his opinion. I personally agree much more with your opinion. What I really enjoy is taking images and sharing them with people. Thanks again! Greg
64 Bill Taylor   (1/6/2005 2:58:35 PM)
#62 George .. I agree with you, George. "Let's not question the integrity of others" Greg does have the talent for this type of photography ..
65 Blake Heminger   (1/9/2005 1:05:43 PM)
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