At first glance you would be forgiven to think the spotted cat out in the open in broad daylight on a termite mound is a cheetah, but it is actually a leopard! It had me fooled for a few moments too – “oh that’s a mighty fat cheetah” – until I scrambled for a pair of binoculars! Since this leopard was a bit far away I took this opportunity to photograph it in its environment. Sometimes wildlife photographers (including me!) get quite obsessed with the closeups but one can get great images by stepping back a little and take in the whole scene around an animal. It makes photos more unique. In this case it helped to have the stunningly beautiful Kalahari scenery to work with. The grass near Lijersdraai in the Kgalagadi Transfrountier Park where this photo was taken looks like liquid gold in the dry season – perfect to show off this leopard. I used a telephoto lens and extender and a wide aperture so that the vegetation at the front would be nicely blurred and the small subject would still be the main focus of the photo.
Techs: Canon 7D | Canon 300 2.8 L IS II + 1.4 extender @ 420mm | f5.0 | 1/2500 | ISO 200