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AlesGola's avatar

In the sprint

Young male cougar (puma concolor) enjoying its sprint in a fresh snow. Taken with captive bread animal, Heralec, Czech Republic.
Image details
Image size
4069x2713px 5.46 MB
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Shutter Speed
1/4000 second
Focal Length
300 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Jan 25, 2014, 12:27:39 PM
© 2014 - 2021 AlesGola
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jemejj's avatar
:star::star::star::star::star: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star: Impact

I live in Western Canada where mountain lions/cougars (sometimes called pumas) are a part of the environment. They are a hazard and there is a saying here when you go hiking "You see a cougar once - you're lucky; you see it twice - you've got problems as it's hunting you." Because the animal is cautious and careful most pictures of cougars tend to be pretty static with it just wandering along a trail or snarling from a tree.

Your picture pays homage to its true nature. Technically I see no flaw. The cat is in strong dynamic motion yet the focus is razor sharp with no hint of blurring. The colouring is natural and when combined with the blurred, subdued background allows you to study the animal in detail. How could you not admire the intense gaze in its eyes, how it powers off its back legs and the extension of its club-like tail for balance. Wonderful picture that will become one of my favourites.
914four's avatar
I approve of the critique, but I disagree about cougars being a hazard. When I was a child, I encountered a catamount in the woods near my home. There was a large rock that stood above a small clearing where I used to go to when I wanted to be alone, and I approached it from below. The cougar was lying atop the rock and I didn't notice it until I was only about three metres away. As I had been taught in school, I froze and just stood there immobile. The cougar got up and left, and I slowly left in the other direction. I have been fascinated by cats ever since.

That people occasionally get attacked by cougars in Canada is a fact, but that they are a hazard is not. More Canadians are killed by bee stings than by cougars, and, assuming you don't try to take their kittens or food, they are unlikely to attack you unless you run from them. Cougars are an important factor in controlling deer and moose populations, and when left alone, they probably save more Canadians than they hurt; ever seen a car after it hits a moose?
jemejj's avatar
I have no problem with what you say other than I think you definition of hazard is flawed. Hazard just means a "danger or risk"
and that was my full intent.  If people have been attacked or killed then they are a danger or risk although a small one
compared to other risks. Do I think cougar are beautiful and need to be protected? Yes. Do I think they need be considered 
a potential hazard? Yes also. Cougars are generally left alone here unless they have already attacked someone or or are in an
enhanced risk area such as a school (small animals and small people are easier to take). In such a case game wardens or the
local police have to determine what is to be done.

I do enjoy your pictures and hope to see many more.
914four's avatar
I think the use of the word "hazard" in this case makes people react in a way in which the cat is automatically guilty. By your definition, bees, deer, mosquitoes (West Nile) and ticks (Lyme disease) are also hazards, more likely ones I might add, yet I'm not sure many Canadians would use that description. There are no cougars where I live today, but there had been over 300 deer vs car accidents along a 12 km stretch of road near here in the six years leading up to 2012 (the last time I was given access to the statistics).
jemejj's avatar
Good point. 
AlesGola's avatar
Thanks for your critique :).
LSouthern's avatar

Dear deviantart member


We have used your work for a winter feature at :iconbigcats: club, we hope you don’t mind, if you do we can remove your work from the feature…


Thank you for the amazing work and keep it up


Many thanks

Lisa :iconlsouthern: founder of the :iconbigcats:

Nature-Photo-Master's avatar
Beautiful image of this magnificent beast
Cat-Loving-Queen's avatar
Lovely shot!! The cougar looks like he's having fun!
Fractaldragon's avatar
WOW WOW WOW! What a terrific shot of one of my favorite wild cats!
Your mountain lions look much like ours...especially the one that hangs out in the backyard a few doors down. Welcome to Colorado.
Akuba-Link's avatar
Un des plus beaux félins du monde.
wolfsbane6's avatar
Anoya's avatar
I've featured your work here in this article: APN Suggestion Saturday #36! All these features have been suggested to me as a DD when I was still a CV Heart
amzimme's avatar
Holy cow, what a great action shot! I love the snowy, white/blue background--it makes the cougar stand out amazingly, and look at those giant paws and big ol' tail, the ears forward and entirely focused, and the mouth slightly open... The whole photo conveys anticipation and action, and really shows the power of a cougar. Amazing!
initialfantasy's avatar
This is majestic. 
MsHardRockAngel's avatar
One of the best pictures I've ever seen! 
magnifique photo!!!
Wishingdust's avatar
It is a good picture of the cougar but the placement of the animal is a bit bothering me, being in the middle and the head facing the end where the action is going to take place, makes me feel like I am out of space, you should have cut it so it would have had more space for the cougar to make the leap towards to, what I'm saying is that my problem is with the composition, you could look up a few basic composition tips when making a photograph, I hope it's a constructive criticism...sometimes it's okay to break the rules, but  this picture could have had more space
overall I like the colors and the sharpness and the cougar has a nice expression and pose too, like it's leaping towards me
keep up the good work! wildlife photography is hard!
914four's avatar
Beautiful animal, awesome capture!
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