The Puma Walk

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


During my latest Patagonia trip, my clients got to witness all sorts of fun puma moments. One of the most special experiences on these excursions is what our local guides call “the Puma Walk,” when a cat (or family of cats) heads out to hunt or explore their territory. We are sometimes able to follow on foot to observe them.

In this particular case, we were treated to one of the best—and most arduous—walks with a cat I can remember here. This family took us up some steep hills and cliffsides. They settled on this promontory for a bit, allowing us to snap some quick photos… but then the mother changed direction and walked right in between us. In such cases, one can only stand still and let the cats do their thing.

Here, we have her male cub (the gray) following Mom, while his sister continues resting on top of the hillside. I barely had enough lens with my 100-500 to capture both siblings in the frame.


Technical Details

Canon R3
Canon 100-500mm (@100mm… this is virtually full frame)
ISO 1600


I like the pose of this cougar. This cat is certainly off for a walk with a purpose. Not sure if the cougar in the background adds or detracts.

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Without it, there’s nowhere for the eye to move to. I’d be forced to crop differently (tighter on the foreground cat, which would be a rather plain picture), but then the scene loses any sense of place showing where the gray cat came from. Not only does this help draw a diagonal line across the frame, but the second cat establishes a place of origin, IMO, and therefore is a crucial part of the scene.

I always tend to favor images in which the eye can spend time exploring the frame, which is probably why in this sequence I like a couple of my shots with all three cats (where the viewer can go from one to the next to the last) even more than this one.

Hi Max !
I just love the stare and the body language of Puma.
I feel the second Puma is great addition to the frame as it helps the viewer’s eyes travel the frame and explore other part of the image, after watching the main subject. It adds to the story as well.

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Is this one of those wonderful cats on Laguna Amarga? From my experience there last December, I don’t recall the pumas as being quite so light colored. I wonder if in post you could darken it a bit.

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Beautiful image, Max! It makes me want to go there and get to see these beautiful creatures up close and personal! I think everything about this is great, the pose, composition, I like the background cat too. It helps give the sense that there is a group of them, not just the one.

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I bet that was a fun trip. I photographed several gray-furred cats this time (at least eight individuals), and they did have various tones to their fur. Some of the mature adults were noticeably darker than some of the younger cats.

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Hi Max, really fine image. I like how the gray puma stands out from the BG and the motion conveyed here. Nice angle on the front cat too. The sitting puma in the BG adds another element of interest and adds to the story IMO. Well done!

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