Getting good leopard pictures is not easy as these magnificent but secretive cats spend much of the day inactive, hidden from view in leafy trees or dense bush.
Although daytime sightings do occur in national parks where leopards have become accustomed to vehicles, such sightings are usually fleeting.
In addition, your subject will often be well-camouflaged or partially obscured, making it even more difficult to capture memorable leopard photos.
So count yourself lucky if you ever co
Dappled shade may be attractive to the eye but, combined with the leopard's natural camouflage, will often make your photograph too confusing and "busy" (unless you're trying to show how the animal blends in with its surroundings).
For this reason professional photographers will often use fill-in flash to soften the shadows and put highlights in the eyes of the leopard. Pictures using this technique usually require a more potent flash than the one built into your camera, particularly when using a long lens. Rather use a separate flash-gun, mounted off-camera where possible, together with a flash extender to concentrate the light beam.
Bear in mind though that flash, if not handled with care, can also present its own problems, causing animal "red-eye" (see very last thumbnail below) or over-exposure of your subject.
Elephant Plains Game Lodge
Virtually all the leopard pictures on this page were taken in the Sabi Sand Wildtuin. We were based at Elephants Plains Game Lodge, a small family-run lodge within Sabi Sand that has gained a reputation for providing guests with outstanding leopard picture opportunities.
Although there are good numbers of leopards in the adjoining Kruger National Park, they are not easy to see and photograph, mainly because visitors cannot stray off the designated roads - something which is permitted in private
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