With silent pad and sheathed claw, the leopard is a creature of the night. Even in the dark they roam alone.
As a professional African wildlife photographer, I think I have spent more time photographing leopards than any other creature. Whether working on a portfolio for the BBC Wildlife Magazine or leading Africa leopard safaris and predator workshops since 2009, tracking African leopards is a favourite pasttime of mine.Working with leopards is however kind of like being a pimply teenager, and living next-door to a supermodel. Your neighbour is so beautiful that you can scarcely bare to look, and when you do; you usually just catch a fleeting glimpse of them arriving or leaving. Occasionally you might think that you are making eye contact and just as you are about to smile and wave, or take a photo, they melt into the night – leaving you feeling sheepish and insecure. If leopards are the supermodels of the bush then I must admit that I am a stalker! This collection of portraits, collected over a period of 12 years, and thousands of hours spent with leopards, are my personal favourites.
Portrait of a Leopardess - In South Africa's Greater Kruger National Park a leopard steps out of the darkness for a brief moment, allowing me to capture this portrait.
Leopard Portrait - I sat with this leopard for hours while she lay sleeping on top of a termite mound. When she finally woke and lifted her head, I had a few brief seconds to capture this portrait, before she stood up and disappeared, melting into the African night (South Africa's Greater Kruger National Park).
Painterly Panthera - Leopards are creatures of the night and even in the dark, they roam alone (South Africa's Greater Kruger National Park).
Night Stalker - With silent pad and sheathed claw, this leopard passed through my frame like a beautiful ghost (South Africa's Greater Kruger National Park).
Yawning Leopard - With a big yawn, this leopard woke from its slumber, preparing for a night of silent prowling (Mala Mala Game Reserve, South Africa).
Velvet Stealth - This leopard walked down the branch of a marula tree in the black of the night, with ease and elegance. She had heard a rustle in the grass and was going to investigate (South Africa's Greater Kruger National Park).