In the Shadows
Location: Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa
The leopard (Panthera pardus) is without a doubt one of the most sought after wildlife photographic subjects in Africa and for many people just a quick glimpse of this beautiful cat is an incredible experience. During a recent safari we had the amazing privilege of spending almost 2 hours with a large male as he patrolled his territory after a younger male moved through the area earlier that day. With the dominant male moving around quite a bit in the darkness it was very difficult to get an image of him but our patience and planning paid off. We noticed that there was a certain section of the road which he kept on coming back to so when he headed in that direction again we moved ahead of him and waited. As luck would have it the spotted cat moved into the headlights of the other vehicle that was with us at which point I ws able to get this shot. With the animal approaching us he was only focused on finding the other male leopard and did not worry about or react to our presence at all - the best way to photograph wildlife.
Nikon D3s, Nikkor 70-200mm lens at 200mm, 1/400 f/2.8, ISO 3200