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Leopard - #5 of the BIG 5

Leopard - #5 of the BIG 5
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-10-16
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Digital ISO 100
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger NP 2009
Theme(s): Mammals of Southern Africa II, Pentaxfriend's favorites, CeltickRanger's favorite African animal photos 2, jacqueline's favourites, Kruger National Park 3 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-12-13 13:44
Viewed: 18856
Points: 106
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Leopard / Panthera pardus

In conclusion with the series I have been sharing with you the last few weeks of the "BIG 5" I present the leopard. In my previous postings I shared the elephant, the rhinoceros, the buffalo, then the king of the animals, the lion, and today I end this "BIG 5" series with the leopard that in my personal opinion are the most gracious of all.

The BIG 5 series:
#1 The African Elephant.
#2 The White & The Black Rhinos.
#3 The Buffalo.
#4 The Lion.

One of the earlier photos I posted of our vacation was a portrait of this leopard where I told you the story about it and I shared some valuable information about leopards at the time. I therefore see no reason why I have to repeat all that was said once again, just for the sake of adding a note. Please feel free to read up about the leopard at Streamedlined killing machine.

I do however want to share a little information about mammals in general.

One feature common to all mammals is the ability to suckle their young; and it is this characteristic from which the name 'mammal' is derived, for the word comes from the Latin mamma, meaning a milk-secreting gland or breast. Interesting to note that the Afrikaans word for mother is also "mamma".

Mammals have other common characteristics too; they nurse their offspring; they are warm-blooded; their skin is protected by fur or hair; they are vertebrate (they have a skeleton, and they have four limbs).

Because of their adaptability and highly developed brains, mammals including man, represent the dominant group of land animals in southern Africa as they do everywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, this dominance has not prevented the extinction of numerous mammal species, brought about by factors such as hunting, competition with other species living in the same distribution area, and the destruction or alteration of their natural habitat.

Most mammals are elusive – a technique for survival, and so are not easy to find. Many antelope, for instance, disappear into the cooling shelter of thick bush during the heat of the day, emerging into the open in the early morning or late afternoon.

Irrespective of their daily rhythms and types of habitat, mammals are difficult to spot because of their often excellent natural camouflage. Brown and grey-brown, the prominent colours of their fur covering blend well with earth shades, with stems and branches, and with sun baked grass and vegetation. Variations on the colour theme add refinements of disguise. The spots of a leopard, and the giraffe's jigsaw or brown patches, merge with the dappled foliage of these animals habitat; the vertical stripes of the nyala form part of the mosaic of patterns provided by the vegetation in dry savannah woodlands. There are plenty more examples like these to be studied.

Mammals however are apt to be extremely sensitive to any sounds that you make, and to the odour that you omit. Without that keen awareness of their surroundings, they would not be able to survive for long, and as a game watcher you, in turn, must develop your own awareness.

Taken from: Animals of the Kruger Park and Lowveld - Heritage Publishing.

I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

NinaM, Juyona, Pentaxfriend, xTauruSx, anemone, eng55, nasokoun, siggi, horias, SelenE, nglen, zulfu, boreocypriensis, cypturk, Mello, jaycee, Noisette, Luis52, Argus, uleko, MMM, rousettus, anel, albert, Tamrock, CeltickRanger, Mikolaj, Rehanna, maurydv, pierrefonds, tuslaw, Alex99, horia, chrisruth, bartove, brech has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2009-12-13 14:03]

Coucou Miss Piggy, we are neighbours! You are soooo very lucky to go out like this and take a picture of this most graceful animal! And what a picture! I can feel the warmth in the sunshine, the light is so beautiful. It is dry and the cat is walking precautiously, with prudence and care. What a fantastic coat. What superb body, health and strength. When my male cat Joe Burger gets in a frenzy, he bites my hand and holds it with its paws... ouch! Can you imagine with this big one... you just don't last. Thanks a lot for this beauy, the care you give your pictures, the superb light and perfect frozen moment.


  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2009-12-13 14:30]

estupenda captura,
hermoso animal en mimético escenario,
bonito pose,
saludos Anna.

Hi Anna,

In 1 word PERFECT

TFS Thijs

Hi Anna.
One word exquisite.
Cheers Dave

  • Great 
  • Chiza Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 133 W: 0 N: 474] (5351)
  • [2009-12-13 15:02]

Hola Anna, una toma verdaderamente fabulosa...saluidos.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2009-12-13 16:53]

Wow, Anna! A masterpiece!
What a gorgeous shot of this gorgeous specimen!
I think the leopard is my favorite one of the big five.
The light on it is beautiful, rendering his rich warm colors and splendid markings. I just love leopards!!!
POV, pose, sharpness of details, all excellent.
I think he was keeping an eye on you!
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-12-13 21:48]

Hello Anna
What a beautiful capture...lovely composition and colors and nice scene.

Hello Anna, lovely shot of this magnificent leopard in its natural environment with fine details and composition.
TFS and regards,

Hello Anna,
Very impressive shot. The composition, POV and details are great.
TFS and kind regards,

Hi Anna,

My favorite cat this is! Awesome capture. I just loved this composition. Nice eye contact. Very sharp details and nice to see it in his own habitat. Great work!


  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-12-13 22:53]

Hi Anna,
Magnificent capture of this Leopard.Sharpness,details,POV,framing and harmonious colors are wonderful.Excellent note too.
Have a great week!
Thanks for posting..

hello Anna
a nice close up and photo output of this magnificent animal, how they suit colours with the environment!
keep photographing! TFS

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-12-13 23:25]

Hello Anna.
Very good shot. Great exposure and detail, wonderful sharpness, natural colors.
Wonderful cat in wonderful performance.
Best regards Siggi

Hi Anna.
This beautiful animal have very interesting camouflage colors.It lies perfectly in dry grass.
Wonderfull animal and nice picture.
Greetings from Romania.Alin.

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2009-12-14 4:08]

Wonderful capture!
Great leopard!
Wonderful details and colors.

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2009-12-14 5:53]

Lovely image of this great leopard, wonderful lighting and overall colors. The leopard looks like very young and in good condition in perfect environment. One of the beautiful images of this great cat. tfs.

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2009-12-14 6:34]

Hi Anna,
What a beauty! It's a pleasure to look at it. TFS
Best wishes,

hello Anna
this is super picture
great details and beautiful colours with great sharpness
very good
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-12-14 10:49]

Hi Anna. A beautiful animal and a first class picture. I would have been so pleased to have taken this myself. It shows the markings in the furs with such detail and natural looking colours. Very well taken TFS.

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2009-12-14 10:59]

Hello Anna, another excellent shot of a leopard in a fine pose with great details and colours.
TFS and G's,

Hi Anna,

Lovely and great capture of this beautiful leopard while wolking and searching his surrounding for a meal:).
The POV, exposure, details and composition are incredible.
TFS and have a nicew night MF!


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-12-14 12:40]

Hello Anna,
The other four photos were beauties, but this is amazing! I should like to have this photo as a big poster in my room. The light is more than splendid and the rest is also perfect. Fantastic.

Hello Anna,
An amazing shot of this leopard, so many details neatly captured with good sharpness and lighting.
TFS & Kind Regards,

  • Mello Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 140 W: 34 N: 480] (2419)
  • [2009-12-14 14:59]

Dear Anna,
Lovely capture you got here MF. Very nice natural shades and colours with soft light in the correct position.
Your POV, DOF and composition are all in perfect technical management.
Thanks a lot for your post and good notes too.
Best wishes and see you on TN.

Unfortunately I`m putting this little Ctrl C + Ctrl V massage today...
PS: Today I started write critiques/comments since the last time I was here on TN and my Green faces suddenly finished. Anyway I`d like to say that I realy liked your post. Have a nice week dear friend.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-12-14 15:32]

Hi Anna,isn't easy to found words to comment a wonderful pic like that! One of the most elegant,beautiful and spectacular animals taken so perfectly.Impressive sharpness and colors,just the light help you,the rest it's from your hands! My best compliments,have a nice day,Luciano

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-12-14 16:25]

Hi Anna,

How lucky you are to be able to vacation in Kruger and see these wonderful animals. To be able to get a magnificent shot like this is awesome. This is one beautiful animal which you captured with excellent colors and details. Nothing compares to seeing the "Big Five" in their natural habitat.


Hello Anna
this image is a real beauty, the profil view is excellent and taken in a beautiful environment, superb warm colors, i like especially the details on his head and his pose, it must be very impressiv to see this animal in his natural habitat
Have a good night

P.S. i have send your regards to Valérie, i hope also new posts from her on TN

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2009-12-14 17:50]

Hola Anna.
Hermosa foto. Llena de colorido en toda la imagen. Siempre valoro mucho en medio ambiente que rodea a una fotografia, pues es necesario que esta tenga un esenario natural, en donde viven las diferentes especies que nos acompñan en el mundo.
Saludos Anna. y felicidades

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-12-14 22:37]

Hello Anna,
A fine classical portrait of the Leopard, the last of the 'Big Five' in your series. The POV and pose are great and I like the typical upward curvature of the tip of the tail. Technically great and the composition with the dry natural habitat in the BG is superb.
You really have achieved a fine series of these famouse African mammals and thanks for sharing them with us.
Best wishes,

I see you left the best of the Big 5 for last!It took me 20 years of regularly visiting Kruger National Park before I spotted my first leopard. Since then I have been fortunate enough to spot a few more, but never like this. This is another of those "right place at the right time" photos. Well done, Anna, this is just perfect, as if the animal stood still and posed for you! The lighting is perfect and the colours natural, focus is spot on, everything is just perfect!

Hello Anna,

Thank you very much for this great shot of a so graceful animal... The details on the fur are remarkable and the light, very nice. We can easily see that the fur color/pattern serves so well the leopard for camouflage. I really like your composition and the fact that the leopard is not looking at prooving that you didn't disturb it in any way :-)

Great shot and TFS!


Ciao Anne, great capture of wonderful creature in good natural ambientation, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-12-15 7:38]

Hello Anna,
You timed this perfectly to get the Leopard in a classic pose showing it from the side while striding along! Fantastic work! I love the warm light and colours and the sharp details. Very professional work!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2009-12-15 7:50]

Hello Anna
That is a great image.Everything in there is perfectely done.I like the composition and the beautiful natural colors.You also capture that catch light in the eye.Very well done
TFS Michel

Hello Anna
Leopard is probably the most legendary animal species in Turkiye. last leopard was killed in 1974 near capital city Ankara and it may represent last specimen of Anatolian leopard, Panthera pardus tulliana. After that date, many people have searched it almost all part of our country. Up to now, there is no evidence. You are lucky that you can see this large cat easily. I know national park and conservation works of your important to survive it.
Photographically this is wonderful. great focus and POV. exposure and composition also great. thanks for sharing.
best regards to you and Loot.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-12-16 4:21]

Hello Anna,
Most impressive picture of this magnificent creature. A "golden" picture in every sense. Golden vegetation and light, and a fabulous animal, which you show with a most intesive attitude. I love the golden eye fixed on something obviously interesting..
Excellent shot, indeed.
Thanks and kind regards

Hello Anna,
More impressive on the ground that high up in a tree!!
Very good photo, and I agree with you the leopard is also my favorite from the big 5
Best greetings

hej anna!
en underbar bild på alla sätt!
just dom matchande färgerna och
ljuset är kalas i denna bild på
detta mycke vackra djur!
very beautiful!

hello Anna

WOW ! this a a excellent and the same time very beautiful photography
of the Leopard, with fine POV at its level, superb focus great
sharpness and details, beautiful warm luminosity and colour tones,
and what i love most it is the Leopard's expression of his glance,
you and Loot have great chance to see in the wild such
wonderful and powerful wild animals and photograph it, TFS


Hello Anna! Wonderful leopard. Amazing scene. Fantastic scenery. Good capture and exposure. Ideal natural colours. Very good note. Well done!

  • Great 
  • waylim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 296 W: 8 N: 489] (1765)
  • [2009-12-17 23:50]

Hi Anna,
this is an exceptional picture here. Wow, one of the most difficult to see of all the big five, I saw it 3 different times but never this close and didn't get a good photo of it. Great clarity, good sharpness, beautiful details on it golden fur and patterns. I can even see it eye lashes and the wiskers tickles me. Such a powerful and elegant animal. Love it.

Hello Anna,
what a wonderful conclusion of this fantastic series! superb portrait of the Leopard taken from an excellent POV in a very beautiful environment, outstanding sharpness and marvellous colours, very pleasing composition with a splendid graceful posture of this feline.
Have a good weekend

Hi Anna,

This animal is impressive. It is well framed. The point of view is allowing me to see the details and colors of the leopard on alert. The intensity of the light has a good effect on the colors of the animal. Have a nice day.


  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2009-12-19 19:26]

Hello Anna, of all the big cats, I believe this particular one has the most beautiful coat. The color and pattern of the spots are simply gorgeous. You have captured this guy in fine detail while living in his natural habitat. Nicely composed with excellent exposure and wonderful notes!! TFS.

Hola Anna,
por lo que nos vas mostrando, veo que aprovechaste bien tu salida y pudiste captar infinidad de grandes animales, algunos de ellos de manera espectacular como ocurre en este caso.

Esta toma emana grandeza, poder y ELEGANCIA. Habría que destacar la bonita gama de colores cálidos plasmada y como no, el foco centrado en es poderosa y fija mirada.

Un documento muy especial para Treknature que yo valoro.

Un abrazo: Josep Ignasi.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-12-20 8:09]

Hi Anna.
This is one of the most favorable cat to me. You managed to create an outstanding shot of this beautiful animal. All if fantastic: pictured moment, graceful pose, unbelievable reproduction of colouration and other details of the big cat and natural scenery. My congratulations and TFS.

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2009-12-20 10:07]

Hello Anna , Excellent capture great composition .Greetings and good 2010.

Indeed these animals are fantastic, and very difficult to shoot and to find a good angle. I tried myself (at the zoo) and it was not easy. You managed it well. It seems it's posing for the photograph. Congratulations and thanks for your welcome - I'm sure I'll enjoy this space, as I've already done it for some time on TrekEarth. Have a nice week!

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2009-12-26 8:31]

Hi Anna,

As i wrote Loot, sorry for being a little late, but i want to take this opportunity and wish a Happy Christmas and only the best and good health for the Next Year!
I followed your "5 big" series with great interest and i'm sorry life doesn't allow me more time to spend and comment on TN. However, i'd like to tell you now that i really enjoyed all of them...but this one has a special place in my heat.
It's simply a stunner! Not only a rare, elusive and fantastically beautiful subject, but also captured with grace and in a glorious warm light. Very well done in all aspects and i think it's safe to say now you really reached the top of what a compact camera can deliver. BRAVO!

Warmest regards

Hi Anna

Happy new Year and many more for yourself and Loot:)

Sorry I have been quiet on TN lately, I have had a problem with my internet SP uploading my photos on TN, but it seems to be sorted out now.

Well done on this amazing capture of your Leopard.
I must say that I also think it is one of the most graceful and majestic animals of the wild.

It really is not easy to spot and getting an amazing picture like this is truly a privilege to see:)
You have managed a wonderful 'out in the open' capture with beautifully soft background colors of the brown winter grass.
The details of the 'stealthy' leopard is very sharp and clear and the orange/brown leaves in the photo compliment the color scheme.
I enjoy this picture as it has all the elements of a great photographer written all over it.

Well done and thanks for sharing

P.S. Congratulations award winning photos and winning such a wonderful prize from Wildside

A prize picture to behold. The individual that you photograph is probably one of the most beautiful as the pelage appears different from the rest of the leopard images I have viewed, the spots on the front evolve into beautiful rosettes as your eye scans torward the back. I also like the break in pattern the subjects markings surounded by the tall dried grass of the leopards environment.
Paul :)

exellent capture for king leopard . sharpness of focus, POV/OOF and exposure outstanding.

Hellow Anna,
I dont know how I missed this photo of yours.I really think the leopard [ although I keep spelling it wrong "leapord" i always make this mistake why i dont know] A solitary quite mean muscular cat.You have capture a all over excellent photo of this leapord in its natural surroundings. What a privelage.It seems to have its concentration on something or someyone [ha ha ].One can see how they just eeze into their envirnment and dissappear without a sound.
Oh yes the iMfolozi does need some serious attention,while there I was wondering what our overseas visitors think about it, and the service on some occassions has also been rather shabby.They dont seem to like my rhino card....i wonder why ??? ha ha or maybe cash is better #

One beautiful animal and a beautiful job capturing that beauty.


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