This shot corresponds to one of those unforgettable moments that I had in Tanzania in September 2008.
After a long day visiting the south of the Serengeti (Seronera) and when we were already looking our clocks, thinking we soon would turn around to go to the Lodge, we saw something moving among the dried grass, far away, close to the road. Lawrance, our guide, said it was a Cheetah and Eli (our driver) headed for there, with no doubt. He stopped the car beside the place we supposed we had seen the animal and we started looking skeptically around the place he pointed to… nothing!
Some seconds after we continued seeing nothing… It’s here, here, at few meters from us!!!!… But no way… we weren’t able to see it.
Lawrance opened the 4W door and stand up (without getting of the car) and pointed with his arm… We continued seeing nothing; only lots of golden grass… we started doubting that was the place…
Suddenly, an enormous leopard head appeared among the mess… Wow! I mean Meaw!
400 mm, f9.0, 1/10, ISO 200, AV, autofocus, bean bag, flash and teleflash.
Lawrance sit with one jump and closed the door at once… it was not a Cheetah it was a Leopard!!! And as he repeated several times: “the leopard is bad… it hunts by the pleasure of hunting… other animals hunt to eat, but the leopard doesn’t… the leopard hunts because it loves hunting.”
It fascinated me! What appearance and elegance air! And it was there, at few meters from us… Unbelievable!!!
The following minutes were quite intense, and we all had an huge adrenalin rising!!!
And, when it turned and look us… wow!!!
I was unable to think, I shoot by inertia and… Gosh! Goosebumps on my skin each time I think about it!
The think is that, at that time, I was conscious that I was shoting with a low ISO, but I did not dare to change it for a higher one because of the “noise”… and I relied on the use of the flash to get enough speed, but I was not sure… anyway, I did not care… in front of me, at few meters, I had a “pretty little cat”, and that was the important thing.
Today, I know I should have risen the ISO to shot faster and obtain a better quality, but… it’s too late to repeat it… I wish the photo does justice to this wonderful cat.