‘Rarely does a portrait reveal the fluid grace of a leopard in motion’
Image Credit: Photograph by Konrad Wothe/NHM
The Hunter by Konrad Wothe
Leopards are among the most popular portrait subjects for photographers. But since leopards normally sleep during the day, most portraits show them reclining, usually draped over a branch.
Rarely does a portrait reveal the fluid grace of a leopard in motion. To create such a shot required planning.
The photographer stayed for more than a week in Tanzania’s Serengeti national park and got to know the leopard’s hunting area and where she was likely to rest. He also knew she would climb down from her sleeping tree at dusk to begin hunting.
This was in the days of film, the 1990s, when a picture could be taken after sundown only with the use of a low speed and a wide aperture to capture the last of the light.
Working with rather than against the inevitable grain that would result, the photographer enhanced the sense of movement by panning the camera along with the stride of the leopard, keeping the focus on her eye.
The result was a painterly representation and a prize‑winning picture that has stood the test of time.