Brilliant! I don't understand why most are trying to warm it up. It's unnatural.
Are we looking for mood, natural accuracy, or some combination thereof?
"As you can see (above), snow leopards aren't the color of snow. They're colored like the rock habitat they live in"
Indeed, the source RAW file shows quite a bit of color that I daresay seems naturally accurate. IMHO it is more challenging to excite the sensuous aesthetic via a favorable presentation of the real - and for me that much more satisfying on the rare occasion that I have accomplished same. Please don't get me wrong; I am also wildly in favor of stylized interpretation, though I don't find it as challenging a concept. All I'm saying is let's be clear on goals before we decide to critique each other's approach to the challenge....
Thank you for the info.
Considering that this photo isn't specifically made for color accuracy, feeling is what matters to me.
I had no idea what color their fur is in general. What felt wrong to me was the color of the snow (and the dark upper part). I haven't touched the white balance in my try (except for the eye). These snow leopards appear to be whiter than those from your link.
No matter what their color is, I expect snow to be slightly bluish, as the photo actually shows it, especially at high altitudes, and especially considering that the sun doesn't appear to have been strong in the photo. For example, in the first photo from your link, both the sky and the snow are slightly bluish.
Only now I've read that a flash was used and the photo was made at a zoo. It's possible that the blue light of the flash changed the color balance (which may explain why the fur is so white relative to the snow).