Silent & Stealthy
It was my first time in an overnight hide and I was incredibly nervous, having never shot in the dark before. I knew there would be just seconds, if an animal came for a drink, to capture a successful shot as the animals would be skittish and light conditions required them to be in a specific location. There would be no time for camera adjustments. I sat alone in my chair for hours, dozing while trying to keep one eye open. And, I waited. Then, toward the early morning when the night was most still, a whisper of movement caught my eye and alerted me. A leopard! She was so cautious. I was afraid she would not come into the light for a drink. I gathered my groggy senses and held my breath, even trying to calm my heart, as I pressed the shutter. It was a beautiful thing to see her moving with such silence and grace, she was simply magnificent. I later learned how rare it was to see and photograph a leopard at night. She was definitely worth every second of waiting.
Author: Barbara Fleming is an international award winning wildlife photographer who has traveled extensively throughout the Serengeti ecosystem for over ten years with additional experience in Rwanda. She has also photographed in the southern part of Africa including Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa over the last four years. She uses her undergraduate studies in anthropology, primatology and psychology as well as her field experience to help her understand and photograph wildlife and their complex behavior.