Leopard at night

Working through some images recently I selected this one for to show how with a professional guide and tracker on the vehicle you can capture and create simple but effective images with out having to disturb and aggravate an animal by getting into its comfort zone.


I was on a trip with a good friend Philip Bartschi after he had invited me to join him on his annual pilgrimage to Africa. Our passion for both photography and Motswari is why I regularly visit and host my Wildlife Workshop here annually.

We had one of the coolest and most famous head guides in the Timbavati , Sir Chad Cocking at the helm of our vehicle with an expert tracker , Patrick Mkhari managing the spotlight. We had seen the young female and her sub adult cubs the day before and were lucky enough to get a message on our last evening that they ( the 2 youngsters ) were in an open area which could be good for some spot light photography.

We arrived at the sighting and stopped a distance from the two leopards. One was not very keen on anyone taking his portrait . The other was a little more interested and moved towards our vehicle . The use of a soft spot light bounced of the ground in front of the subject created this awesome soft light and we managed to get a decent sequence of portraits as this young chap moved towards us.

With a small amount of ambient light still around , I managed to up my shutter speed slightly from the basic manual setting of 1/125 to 1/200th to ensure a higher keeper rate of sharp images. ( Tip : Use burst mode in low light to help you get at least one sharp image inbetween breathing and excitement ) Below you can see the Lightroom adjustments aswell as the before and after images.


Thanks you for viewing and feel free to comment or ask any image or technique specific questions.

Peace and Light – AA