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Photo Information
Copyright: Annick Vanderschelden (vanderschelden) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2553 W: 74 N: 7464] (30441)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-10-18
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, Canon 400mm 2.8 IS
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Travelogue: Kruger National Park
Theme(s): 5 favs. and up - PART 3, Kruger National Park 1, Vanderschelden's Africa [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-11-09 2:57
Viewed: 5561
Favorites: 5 [view]
Points: 72
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Day 15. (15/20)
Kruger National Park.
The previous days I was quite sure, I would never meet the leopard. But it was all right, 'she' was out there somewhere.
I was driving on a gravel road (might be the S46 or S44, does it matter?) and I crossed a dry river. You have to go down and immediately up again then. A bit steep and everything in a short distance. So you have to be concentrated. Always did these river manoevering
in one time; maybe these dry river could be used by animals for example elephants as their highway.
So as told, I did this concentrated and in one time. Already uphill...I got this 'vision'; did I just saw what I saw???
No, it wasn't possible.
To my right in the middle of the dry river,
15 meters away from me, a leopard standing there with one each side of her a sitting cub?
On the uphill and on my break, I put the engine off and slowly the car went backwards. She might be gone?
In the mean time I was busy opening the window and half way the upward hill I got more or less a full sight.
God, they were still there...no hallucination, no statue?,...
At that moment the two cubs run away. One on each side in the high grasses along the river. Could still see a little head looking scared. Took my 6 kg lens to hold it through the window and tried to photograph the mother which was very relaxed. I was almost praying "please, no other car". This was my private meeting with this African queen.
I started shooting. This image is the prove from our encounter.
After a minute or so she even sat down as if she was saying two her 2 cubs: don't worry, everything is just fine. A minute or so later she stood up and walked away from me towards the bush.
Her cubs appeared and followed her.
All the time she was calm.
Drove further uphill and tried to follow her from the road.
Saw a glimpse in the bush and she(they) were gone forever.
My 5 minutes with mom leopard and her 2 cubs. Devine!

Camera Model Name
Canon EOS-1D Mark III
Shooting Date/Time
18/10/2007 07:09:53
Tv(Shutter Speed)
Av(Aperture Value)
Metering Modes
Evaluative metering
Exposure Compensation
+2 2/3
ISO Speed
EF400mm f/2.8L IS USM
Focal Length
400,0 mm
Image size
3888 x 2592
Image Quality
White Balance
AF mode
One-Shot AF
Picture Style

SelenE, horia, Argus, jesst, jcoowanitwong, earthtraveler, undoredo, eqshannon, lise, wuta, Pentaxfriend, Kathleen, martic, Debz, EOSF1, diverjohn, manyee, aido, marhowie has marked this note useful
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Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To aido: Hi Adrian,vanderschelden 2 11-13 10:09
To wuta: Bedankt, Teunievanderschelden 1 11-09 10:37
To pirate: Hi Tomvanderschelden 1 11-09 08:29
To horia: Thanks Horiavanderschelden 4 11-09 08:01
To eqshannon: Hi Bobvanderschelden 1 11-09 07:15
To mrcrow: No Cheetahvanderschelden 1 11-09 05:22
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • pvb Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 385 W: 16 N: 531] (1981)
  • [2007-11-09 3:34]

Hi Annick,
Wat een geluk hebt u gehad!! Echt een prachtig verhaal bij een fantastische foto. Haar houding, de uitdrukking op haar gezicht... echt SUPER.
Goed scherp, details en mooie kleuren.
gr. Paula

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-11-09 3:49]

Hi Annick,
What a beauty and what a nobility! POV and composition look very nice. TFS
Have a nice weekend,

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-11-09 3:56]
  • [+]

Annick...you outdid yourself!!!
I think that if people read your note and realize this is a wild animal, i can already put this post in the theme with pictures that have more than 5 favorites to them :)
I agree with you: "divine" is the word here when you meet such an animal living free in its own habitat.
And i'm quite impressed that you found it here - in such an open ground - the leopard being such an elusive animal.
Yet, you took the chance and did the best out of it! Such a splendid portrait of this animal!
I couldn't be happier for you that you managed to get so many shots and such high quality ones. Here for example i simply love the sharpness of the details, the exact DOF - shallow but still keeps the entire body in focus - and the superb composition and isolation from the BG.
Her pose here is also lovely - looking to the side and really feeling worriless because of you.
What more to say: clearly a BIG favorite!


PS: maybe after the KNP series in done, we may see some shots of the cute cubs, too? :)

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-11-09 3:58]

What a capture!
Superb portrait of a Leopard with good sharpness and the right DOF to give a fully sharp leopard and OOF BG. Great pose and POV.
Marvellous shot, Annick.
Well done and TFS!

Hello Annick,
I like the pose of this great guy!!
A majestic animal so well captured, with great details in the fur coat...
It is a fine composition, and the choice of DOF makes the animal really stand out!
Pablo -

Fantastic photo with so much clarity and knowing how little time you would have had to capture this very rare sighting in the open. After 30 or more trips to the Kruger I have never had a sighting as good as this. Briliant.


Stunning capture, great attention to detail,
I liked the short story to, kinda place me there to see it all happen,


  • Great 
  • jesst Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 0 N: 172] (2441)
  • [2007-11-09 4:52]

I like big cats. This one is wonderful. Proud pose, amazing sharp, detail and color - your capture is great. And your note is wonderful too, we could imagine for a moment that we see leopard ourselves - I can understand this even with my bad English.

of all the big 5 this is the most difficult..in my experience...to find and photograph
usually in a tree then slinking away invisibly into the long grass..
too many jeeps i guess
thanks for this frank and clear shot of a beautiful cat
ps i think the cheetah should be the big #6

Hi Annick,
Very nice capture. Perfect camera settings. POV and composition are great. TFS this majestic creature.

Hello Annick,
What a nice encounter of this charming leopard!
Excellent capture with beautiful pose and superb details and composition.
Also, lovely natural colours and outstanding focusing, amazing story as well!
Well captured and TFS,
Best wishes, Kevin
Have a good weekend! :-)

Hi Annik,
This encounter was a blessing from on high and so is the image.
Very beautiful pose/POV and expertly shot.
Well done and thanks for the note

Hi Annick
You get one of the top five with really good quality.
Well done!

Your location sounds a bit like my wilderness but with a completely different set of dangers..although driving might be quite hazardous there as well.

A fine specimen well taken with gear needed to do so. I am glad we still have people in the world who are recording these wonderful creatures and notatubg as well. You may be famous some day, but if not your hard work is paying off for some here.

Hi Annick
Everybody is coming back with Leopard pictures from Africa and I did not :-(
This one is outstanding: perfect DOF with ultrasharpness and nice pose GREAT

  • Great 
  • lise Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 169 W: 48 N: 548] (2877)
  • [2007-11-09 9:34]

Hi Annick,
This is such a wonderful and proud cat! The sharpness let us admire that beautiful fur.
The little cub in your workshop is so cute!!!! :)
Very well done

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2007-11-09 10:15]
  • [+]

Hallo Annick , wat een beauty ,hele koningklijke houding een schitterend beest , gaaf om zoiets tegen te komen , Fijn Weekend Teunie .

Ha Annick,

Geweldig verhaal en zo te horen(lezen)was uw African queen en stuk rustiger dan u zelf was.
ze staat er relaxed op met een Perfecte scherpte en een prachtige compositie
kleuren, POV, DOF zijn werkelijk schitterend

TFS Thijs

  • Great 
  • kjpweb Gold Star Critiquer [C: 326 W: 86 N: 1084] (4788)
  • [2007-11-09 12:24]

Wow! Annick that is off the charts good. A brilliant image in every aspect! Perfection! Thank you! Cheers, Klaus

  • Great 
  • Silke Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 729 W: 98 N: 1707] (5458)
  • [2007-11-09 14:07]

Fabulous PoV and composition and the details are sharp as a tack -- lucky, lucky lucky you to have been able to see such wonders

Hi Annick, what a cracking good shot. Your POV and effective DOF is perfect here. Very impressive work..

Hi Annick,
Magic time and a photo to match.
Well done,

Hi Annick!

Beautiful shot of a majestic animal. Very well composed and executed photograph.
Excellent focus, lots of details. Well done! ;o)


Hi Annick.
Wow, what a great moment told in your notes and a stunning image to go with them. She is beautiful. Superp exposure, colour, sharpness and detail, wonderful.


Hi Annick
Fantastic photo, great pose, sharp and POV,
Have a nice weekend,

  • Great 
  • martic Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 179 W: 1 N: 159] (1327)
  • [2007-11-10 10:50]

Bonsoir Annick,
Très belle prise de ce léopard belle netteté et DOF excellentes couleurs naturelles

simply majestic, TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • lizzie Gold Star Critiquer [C: 207 W: 0 N: 605] (2855)
  • [2007-11-10 14:25]

Hi Annick,

Wat an interesting story you wrote about you meeting this leopard. It's a beautiful picture, very sharp and the blurry background doesn't disturb the elegancy of this beautiful animal. Very well done!


It is the wonderful natural color and light that attracted me first to this image. I like the three quarter pose and the perfect depth of focus. Super.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2007-11-11 5:00]

Hi Annick, what a MAGNIFICENT photo! I still have my mouth open. She is a real beauty and aptly described as an African Queen. So majestic and your focus and exposure is perfect. Such fine detail on her beautiful face and fur. Excellent moment and pov, great colour and good dof. Well done, you must be very happy.

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2007-11-11 6:20]

Great encounter and great shot ! You must be proud of it ! It such a beauty, you've doen a great shot ! congrats !



Superb picture. Sharp with natural colours and excellent angle. TFS

great pose for the leopard, with one forefoot ready for run. the great lens brought it all together nicely.
Good work!

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-11-12 20:58]

What an absolute beauty, Annick.
I know you must have been thrilled.
A photographer cannot ask for much more.
To think that you captured a leopard in the wild with this perfect everything... It is mindboggling!
TFS this incredible sight and story!

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2007-11-13 9:28]
  • [+]

Hi Annick,
Horia emailed me the link to this image :-) Great capture, superb for a wild animal in it's own environment. Good DOF for f/2.8 and good detail. Looks like you had a great trip and I imagine this is one of those encounters you'll be telling your grandchildren about.

Such a sharp capture of this very elusive animal.
Perfect DOF.
Nice discret background

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