Cheetahs are my favourite animal. They always appear so chill and relaxed. This mother was poised on a termite mound, casually scanning the savannah for her next meal. There was some gentle back light, and the background was nice and soft due to a 500mm lens. This resulted in a pretty pleasing image right out of the camera. Here is a view of the unadjusted RAW file.
These images are created by combining a colour and a black and white version of the cheetah image using the overlay blending mode. Then a detailed mask is made to reveal a a image of a textured old concrete wall on the background layer. A burn and dodge layer was used to tone down some distracting highlights and add depth to some shadows. Finally, a vignette layer was used to tone down the edges and keep the eye in the centre of the image.