As the chase began, the female Cheetah chased the Thomson's Gazelle right past the nose of our customised Toyota Land Cruiser and then the take-down happened exactly 30 meters from our shooting position. Those of you who know me know that I photograph wildlife action primarily with the Nikkor 500mm prime telephoto lens. With it not being a zoom lens, getting the action too close can be a concern...
This photo is one of the sequence I captured last week. It's not perfect - why?
Is it the light? The light is a bit harsh, mid morning actually - but it was slightly overcast so I think it came out nicely, so no.
It's the framing, right? Because the gazelle's one horn is "clipped" on the right of the frame. It's full frame on that end, I actually ended up cropping a wee bit from the left and bottom to frame the overall action better.
Does it still work?
I think it does. Besides my obvious emotional connection to an action image like this which really portrays a split second in a frenetic life-and-death tussle...I think the horn is less of an issue than the cheetah's tail, which is what I often end up "amputating" by poor framing. In this case, the cheetah's grace and power in the final take-down of the gazelle is the focus (not to take anything away from the "oh crap" expression on the prey's face)...so the horn becomes less of an issue.
What do you think? Would you ever delete a photo like this from your library because of the flaw I listed above? Drop me a comment below and share your thoughts!
Nikkor 500mm f4 VR-II
f8.0 | 1/3200 SS | ISO-900
|click on the photo to display properly...
Until next time...