The Memphis Zoo is consistently voted as one of the top zoos in the United States. In 2008 it was ranked #1 in the U.S. by Trip Advisor. The zoo has upgraded habitats over the years, with the recent addition of the North West Passage and the Teton Trek, the zoo continues to excite visitors of all ages.

So far this year, my daughter has insisted that we visit the Snow Leopards at least once per month. The wolves, great apes, eagles and pandas are on our rotation; however, the Snow Leopard named Ateri has her heart. 

My daughter decided one cold day in Feb that we were going to bring home her favorite Snow Leopard. We ended up compromising and agreeing to take pictures of these wonderful animals instead. We asked the staff at the Memphis Zoo if there were any ways to get pictures without the bars, and we were told that's not possible. This was not good enough for either my daughter or I. So we had our goal and set out to achieve it.

Capturing this beautiful Snow Leopard in an image is not an easy task. The Memphis Zoo has bars between you and the Snow Leopard, for safety reasons I'm sure. But when trying to capture anything with bars in the way you have to move to manual focus and I use a zoom lens, I'm not sure if this is a requirement or not. For me I set the focus to as far away as possible and sometimes I can capture a crisp image of this beautiful creature. 

Captured on my Sony A7R Mark II with the 70-200mm F/4 Lens zoomed to 200. This image was in auto, which set the ISO to 800 and the fstop to 5. Minor color corrections in Lightroom to remove some shadows.

Ateri the Snow Leopard

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