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Dual Dedication

Dual Dedication
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-10-19
Categories: Mammals, Bushveld
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 170-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO Ultra DG, Digital ISO 200, UV 86mm Kenko
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger National Park - 2006
Theme(s): Great cats - Grandes felinos, some blood, but it's nature, Felidae of the world: First series, _Fotos adicionadas por 5 ou mais membros, 70-79 Puntos (chapter 2), Wildlife of Africa, Mammals of Africa, Mammals of Southern Africa II, 5 favs. and up - PART 3, Selen's Favorites, A study in Mammalogy (mammals) 1, Dedications at Trek Nature, 80-89 Points I, Kruger National Park 1, Wild Cats, The predator with the Prey, My Dedication [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-06-09 3:44
Viewed: 7861
Favorites: 5 [view]
Points: 88
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
African leopardPanthera pardus

This dual dedication is for 2 of my TN friends who have shown or voiced their great love and admiration of these cats.

Adrian Hutton (aido). His portfolio hosts some exquisite leopard postings revealing his love and respect for these magnificent creatures.

Eduard Baak (snowfalken). He expressed his favouritism and appreciation of leopards in my last Cheetah posting.

Late one afternoon, after we arrived at Shingwedzi, Anna and I were watching an old sleepy owl that was enjoying the cover and the darkness provided by a big fig tree when 2 Dutch ladies pulled up next to us. One of the ladies asked a rather dippy question "Would you like to see a leopard?" My excited response was "Wow lady...Is the pope a Catholic?" They enthusiastically explained that they just saw one, with a kill, on the S52. There was only one small problem though. The S52 is a 38km loop along the Shingwedzi River and since we did not have much time left before the gates closed I had to be pretty sure where to find this leopard. The ladies ensured me that it would be easy as it was "sitting in a tree exactly 8km from the turn-off". Ok, so that shouldn't be too difficult to find... After all, how tricky can it be to find that specific "tree" amidst the million others growing all around?

Fortunately for my intrinsic prudence, as far as any road directions from the fairer sex are concerned (I speak from experience after having Shorty around for 26 years) I zeroed the odometer when we reached the turn-off from the H1-6 main road. After 8km we still had no sight or clue where "the tree" or the leopard was, but to cut short a long story and a hectic up-and-down search, we eventually found the leopard at 9.4km from the main road. Come to think about it (chuckle), what is a 1.4km blunder in this fast expanse of the beautiful Kruger Park? At least we did find it and we can only thank those 2 ladies for their information and "directions" that led us to this wonderful sight.

As is the case with so many photographic takes in nature this scene did not present me with any flexibility at all. There was only one spot from where I could see the leopard and take this shot. The tree was ±50m away and I had a tunnel view that was flanked by large trees on the sides. I could not go closer due to the dense bushveld vegetation and I could not move left or right due to the restricted visibility. Being late afternoon on an overcast day (evident from the white sky in the background of the photo) that did not help much either. I had to revert to ISO200 and f/5.6 to gain a shutter speed of 1/320 second in order to overcome the inadvertent camera shake that would have influenced the shot due to the extended focal distance. Although this shot (which includes the impala) was taken at 328mm focal length, but with some other shots where I've zoomed in showing only the leopard, I had to shoot at a full 500mm focal length.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0

SelenE, pvs, vanderschelden, pirate, Bufo, jmp, Kathleen, marhowie, dew77, delic, Proframe, manyee, aido, horia, Shoot_Score, Janice, Aaltjie, ellis49, JoseMiguel, Dyker, snowfalken, SkyF, Hil, scottevers7, Alex99, TheMystic, coasties, peter_stoeckl, oscarromulus, Adam73, wahclella, Pitoncle, Miss_Piggy, betsie, Rehanna, soccer has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

amazing pic, TFS Ori

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  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-06-09 3:47]

Good Morning Loot,
What a charming beauty! This is a great shot of the leopard, which will go directly to my favorites :o) TFS

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  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2007-06-09 3:56]

Hi Loot,

A well seen and captured Lepoard with impala,this is one of the pictures I miss in my portfolio and one of the reasons I will certainly return once again to kruger,Although we have seen 2 Leopards last trip in Kruger,both in the Lower Sabie region,one was during a night drive and the other one I saw climbing up in a tree,but was later almost invisible due to the leaves of the tree,anyway you managed to take a great shot,with maybe difficult but good POV,well done and tfs


Hi Loot,
Beautiful image.
Great you actually found the spot and could made this wonderful image.
TFS this superb photo and your narrative skill

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  • Bufo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 404 W: 69 N: 951] (4247)
  • [2007-06-09 4:18]

Hello Loot,
must have been Dutch kilometers. Always a bit on the bargain side :-)
But what a fine picture you took under time pressure. It is those once in a lifetime experience which I hope to see (many times) in my life. Looking forward for some close ups.

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  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-06-09 5:09]

Hi Loot,
Impressive, strong photo! Awesome details and sharpess, exact exposure and beautifully saturated colours. Good pov and visual contact. But what I like most is the pose of the died animal in dramatic contrast with the strong, flexible and powerful pose of the leopard. Nature in its pure expresion!
Diagonal trunks complete and excellent and dynamic composition and the oof background gives the extra evidence of the wild, natural environment. An outstanding work!
TFS and best regards,
José Miguel

This is wildlife Loot!!! I want to go to Kruger, I want to go to Kruger, I want to go to Kruger... OK, I think that the universe has heard me now :)

Wow, this is an amazing capture. This must be so impressive to witness such priceless moment... Wow... I'm speechless. Congratulations! Thanks,

Hi Loot.
Great image of her sitting up there, looks like she is very full and resting awhile. Great behavior image with the legs of the kill drapped over the fork and her above. In the circumstances you had to capture this, I say well done. Good detail in the leopard, the tree and the kill and great notes to go with it. I can just imagine your excitment trying to find this image. "wow lady, is the pope catholic", love that.

New Zealand

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  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-06-09 8:26]

Very impressive photo Loot.
Very sharp in a wonderful composition. You were there on the right time. I've seen a lot in Kruger, but something like this I've missed.
This is real wildlife!

Hello Loot,
Excellent in the wild capture. The leopard looks well focused and sharp, with the "impaled" impala making the shot..Very good work PP.
Must say I thoroughly enjoyed the tale of the quest here. It's a very good thing these two Dutch ladies were not the mean-spirited type..because a wild goose would've been a major let-down ;}

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  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-06-09 9:18]

Hello Loot,
Very nice scane.Well caught,framed and composed.POV,sharpness,clear details,colors,eye contact are wonderful.Excellent work!

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  • delic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 440 W: 6 N: 310] (898)
  • [2007-06-09 16:34]

Hello Loot,
Fantastic shot of the leopard and its kill, accompanied by a fun story. Photo is excellent technically, and it sure must be one of a kind. I'm suprised that you held on to it for so long before posting. Regards,

Great catch for you aswell as the leopard Loot.
Most wonderful details with the big cat watching you closely and the way he dus lean with his behind on the big branch is lovely.
Looks like a table for one :)
Awsome image. Thanks for sharing.
Best regards and have a nice sunday, Harry

Hi Loot,
Great that you spotted this hard to get scene. Even with all constraint you did manage to get an impressive picture. POV and composition are great. Perfect sharpness and exposure. TFS,

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  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-06-10 13:02]

Wow, Loot... This is totally awesome!
What a clear, unobstructed, close-up view you managed to get under the circumstances. You did a phenomenal job with the focus and exposure possible in that situation.
The eye-contact is fantastic.
The mpala draped on the branch is amazing.
That shot gives me goosebumps. Stunning!
TFS. : )

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  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2007-06-10 13:46]

Hello mf,
I'm really chuffed that you'd dedicate an image to me :-) Thanks for the honour. This is what wildlife photography is about to me, the searching out, crawling around in the undergrowth just to get that one shot. It's a fantastic capture of this Leopard in his natural habitat. Great composition to include the Impala, an essential part of this image I think. Good detail and colours too and as always an entertaining and informative note (I assume 'Shorty' is your wife :-)). Great stuff.
Best regards,


Jou gelukkige blik...! :-) Wens ek was daar, was nie eers nodig om my kamera te he nie. So, so mooi om te sien, die mooiste dier wat daar is. Baie goeie werk.


My points are finished, but I'll be back in the morning to give them.

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  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-06-10 17:13]

Loot...this is fantastic! And it's IN THE WILD!!!! Wow!
I'm sure both of the members honred here by this dedication are/will be deeply imressed!

Despite the rather difficult conditions, you managed to capture this amazing moment superbly!
A leopard shot...that's something very difficult in the wild...but that wasn't enought for you, was it? You had to catch one with a big prey, too, huh? ;))
What more can i say: impeccable timing!
I really like the details and the natural colors here a lot. They make it seem as if he was at about 10 m from you. You did great to take a wide series of shots...this one is definitely a lot more dramatic due to the imapala, but i must say that i would indeed be curious of some 500mm close-ups, too.
Anyway, my hat's off to you, pal!

Cheers and TFS

Hi Loot,
This is awesome! what I would do to get an opportunity such as this, I myself would drag an impala up a side of a tree with my bare teeth and set my camera on auto just for the chance, I dont think I would fool anyone though. Anyway, great capture showing this animals behavior after a kill. :)

Given the challenges your listed Loot this is a fantastic shot.

I especially like the way you managed to get the leopard outlined against the big tree branch. Having that ridge of wood between its backside and the sky makes for a better shot in my book. Rests me only to say "Oh dear, that poor deer!".

But I suppose it is no different than one of my grabspiders catching a slow fly!

Tfs, Jay

PS As to directions and KMs; be sure to have your odometer checked. Perhaps your are not getting better milage after all... Where did you buy that thing anyway?

Ongelooflik Loot!! -Beste pose wat ek ooit van 'n Luiperd gesien het! fantasties!!

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  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-06-11 6:14]

Loot - awesome capture. Superb details and colours, sharpness too.
But the look in his eye as he's looking right at you - unbeatable.
Excellent - what a catch for you both to see.
And thank you for sharing this with us,

Een welke speciale toewijding! Nogmaals kan ik zeggen dat u hebt outdone zelf U moet zo weggegaan te zijn en ik ben blij u kwam over de 2 Nederlandse dames Ik denk vele medefotografen zijn zullen vrij jealous en zullen benijden u voor u foto. Ik denk niet vele mensen krijgen de kans om een dergelijke "levende dier" te vangen. Ik zelf slechts dit in tijdschriften en boeken hebben gezien. U moet opgewonden te zijn, het ogenblik u de kat met zijn prooi bevlekte. Mooie foto, mooie nota'sachting.

Hi Loot,
a great picture and a very nice dedication.
The POV and pose of the "sitting" cat in the three is very nice
Fine sharpness and details. I like the compostion and DOF too.
Great work, my friend

I hope everything is well.

Hi Loot,
A very impressive capture!
You did it pretty well despite the distance and the interferences to the subject.
Drama in nature at its best!
You even got the attention of the leopard, great the eye contact.
My compliments and thanks for share it.
Best regards,

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  • Dyker Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 136 W: 0 N: 57] (170)
  • [2007-06-12 8:18]

Hello Loot
Envy is the only word I can think of right now. I can't even find an insect or a bird catching its prey and here you have one of the top mammals in the feeding chain enjoying a sit down meal. How I would love to have the opportunity to photograph such a scene. Well, I believe I'm not the only person here on Treknature that feels that way. I think you did good just to find the animal given the directions you had and even then it is still difficult to spot such an animal as the natural camouflage works for the leopard. The focus for this distance shot is really good and the eye contact gives this photo massive impact. You dealt with the late afternoon light situation very well and your notes were as always very pleasant and informative.

Hello Loot,

What a great honor and joy to receive a picture of one of my favorite animals as a dedication! I think this is the first time when someone dedicates a picture to me! All I can say is THANK YOU my friend! I'm ashamed I only found the picture after two days at your suggestion.
This is a real wildlife picture, the kind I would like to see here on TN! It definitely was worth driving the 9.4 km to this spot. I guess this isn't something you see everyday, even in Africa.


A very good composition showing both leopard and its pray in their natural environment. I like the sitting pose of the feline and it is excellent that you placed its face in one of the most important points of the composition. The direct eye contact is very good. He probably spotted your long telephoto lens sticking out of the car window :) The blurred background is perfect to make everything in the foreground stand out! In spite of the very few choices regarding the shooting angle, you managed to include the head of the impala making it easier for the unexperienced viewer to identify the pray and figure out what its position was.


The colors look natural and are well saturated. I especially like the textures in the leopard's fur. They remind me of the times when I was a kid and learned how to distinguish between different animals, especially felines, by the patterns made by their spots.


The contrast is well adjusted and emphasizes the details very well. It keeps a great balance between the highlights and shadows!


The well calculated camera settings were well adapted to the situation in the field! They led to a spot on exposure of this rare scene. The overcast sky had a beneficial influence on the shadows which preserved the details perfectly. The highlights also look good and it seems that the bright sky didn't cause you problems. Well done my friend!


The focus was well achieved on the subject! The DOF was also well controlled to keep the foreground sharp and simultaneously blur the background!

Thank you again for your dedication! The story with the two Dutch ladies and their directions was also interesting and funny! I am happy you finally found the leopard and I'm sure you have more pictures of him to show! Thanks for sharing!

With Friendly Regards,

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  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-06-12 8:53]

Hi loot,
gorgeous shot, and so interesting to look at, specially sinmce we see so many birds in trees around here and this is such a different sight ;-).
Wonderful POV and the eye contact you are getting is great.
Composition, details and sharpness are fabulous.

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  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2007-06-12 13:04]

Hi Loot

Superb capture of the beautiful Leopard, fabulous pose with some great eye contact going on (Good job he had already caught his dinner I think)and he looks really comfatable sitting on the branch, very good detail and lovely lighting with nice warm colours tones.

TFS Hilary :o)

Hi Loot
Very nice shot of this leopard, very nice composition and colour.

  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2007-06-13 11:47]


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  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-06-13 23:16]

Hello Loot

A beautiful shot of this leopard with kill.National Geographic material.Nuff said.TFS


Hi Loot,
Great job on the overall composition under limiting conditions. Light, colors, and over all detail are excellent. That is some great camera work. I just wish I had a such a wonderful place to go to as Kruger.


P.S. I loved the e-mail video clip you sent on the lion buffalo struggle from Kruger. I save it and sent it on to all my friends.

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  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-06-15 12:31]

Hi, dear Loot.
You have shared a really true wild nature shot. Pictured scene is amazing though is dramatic. I love both species. Scene is so expressive. Details and sharpness of the main subject are extremely perfect as well as the DOF. Composition and framing are excellent and exact. Bravo and best regards.

Must be quite a thrill to get a picture like that! Amazing action, great details and color!

Hi Loot

This is a magnificent shot. The Leopard not only has his catch up the tree, but he has taken the time to pose perfectly for you, looking right down your lens. The light is beautiful and the natural environment simply brilliant. So much nicer than a Zoo. :-)

Hi Loot,
well understood: always listen to the ladies, as they see more, and they share more. Wonderful story coming with that most impressing and touching document of wildlife. You are a master of presenting thrilling facts in a professionally precise, straightforward way.
By the way, your intro with all those personal galleries is definitely among the very best ones in terms of structure, and one of the most inviting ones as well here on TN. A great pleasure to see personal information presented at such a top level of thoughtfulness, transparency, and positive feelings.
Thank you my friend.
With best regards,

Hi Loot

Great natural history shot - tells a story! Very nice colors and sharpness in the picture!

Thanks for sharing

Thank you for taking the time to go after your quest and sharing it with us all. What a MAGNIFICIENT moment you have registered.
Thank you also for the last paragraph of your notes; I've pasted this info. into my "private" files. Hopefully will use this knowledge someday.
Greetings from Alberta, the land of PEACE & Prosperity,

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  • Adam73 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 208 W: 5 N: 522] (2253)
  • [2007-07-24 10:58]

Great and amazing capture. I really like the DOF, contrast and colors in this photo. The leopard looks a bit tired after carrying his meal up that tree. He has his rump sitting on that limb relaxing. :) Great shot.


Congradulations Loot,
Your photo of this beautiful Leopard is fantastic and assuredly shown in its own element. Great even lighting and an excellent PoV, although you seem dismayed that the angle was not better, it is, in fact, perfect...

Bonjour Loot,
C'est avec beaucoup de plaisir que je découvre ta remarquable et riche galerie à l'occasion de ma bien involontaire tentative de fraude !!!
Bien qu'elle soit à l'opposé de mes attirances je trouve cette photographie remarquable par la véracité qu'elle dégage.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

The only time when it gets better than this is if you see and shoot it yourself too! Uitstekend sit jou slimkind! Any leopard, any time, anywhere is a great leopard!

Hi loot,
Imagine if you decided not to do the loop.Could have mised the shot of a life time.This is a pic that even national geographic will be jealous about.Well done.
See you at the hide some time ..

Hallo Loot
I will be thrilled to be able to capture a scene like this. This is nature at its best, and just how it should be. The photograph as a whole is super, with great details captured. The pose of the leopard looking straight at you is really beautiful, and you can even see the expression of defeat in its eyes. I must agree with José Michael's statement: "What I like most is the pose of the died animal in dramatic contrast with the strong, flexible and powerful pose of the leopard. Nature in its pure expresion!". The predator and the prey, the one big and strong the other lifeless. Thanks for sharing this true to nature image. Love.


Excellent story line to go with your pic.
The vertical composition of the leopard and kill is excellent. I enjoy yhr soft light and sharpness of the image, showing great detail of the leopard's facial features.

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