As promised last week, this week is purely black and white shots. Many people are of the opinion that a leopard should never be displayed in black and white, as their coat is simply too beautiful for that. For the most part, this is probably correct. However in certain situations a photo that is quite dull from a colour point of view, can be rescued by converting it to black and white. Also, there is a certain atmosphere created by a black and white photo, which if matched correctly to a scene, can really add to your picture. I have included photos from this week, as well as a few older ones that have worked well in the past when converted-I hope you enjoy!
A photo from some months back of the Camp Pan Male. Sometimes converting a photo to black and white can mean that your subject no longer stands out from the background. Having a shallow depth of field, which creates an out of focus background, can help this
The Dudley Riverbank 3:3 Young Male when he was still a curious cub, stalks his mom. Converting a photo to black and white can help make the fact that the leopard was on the road less noticeable, which could otherwise detract from it somewhat.
The Vomba Young Female surveys an area from a marula tree. With a bright white background created by a cloudy sky, and very little colour in the photo other than the leopard's coat, black and white works well and creates nice contrasts.
The Maxabene Female looks on from a marula tree-we are still holding out that she will produce a new litter of cubs soon.
The Maxabene Female playfully disciplines one of the Maxabene Young Males-this was taken soon before the two brothers dispersed.
The Nyaleti 4:3 Young Male uses a termite mound for elevation to scan for potential prey.
Ok, it's not a leopard, but Camp Pan Male is walking about 30m past these impala who are standing to attention, alarming incessantly.
The Maxabene 3:3 Young Male stalks a warthog as it contemplates emerging from it's burrow. We waited for over two hours for it to emerge but, possibly because of our presence, it would not. On returning in the afternoon, he was found with a fresh warthog kill hoisted in a nearby tree.
The Short Tail Male is spotted by a vigilant impala and raises his tail high in the air-a typical response by a leopard who has been seen and alarmed at by potential prey
Again a photo that if not converted to black and white, wouldn't have had nearly the same impact. The Vomba Female takes a stroll down one of the roads on Marthly, north of the Sand River
This is the last picture I ever took of the famous 3:4 Female, looking out over the Sand River at one of her favorite spots, the Dudley Riverbank Lookout. Simon Mathebula, who was one of the first people to see her as a cub, looks on. This is one of those photos where the conversion to black and white really helps to add a feeling of nostalgia to what technically speaking is not a very good photo.