POSTCARD FROM THE STUDIO
April has been the month of the big cat here at ABP as much of our focus has been on photographing the Lion and the Cheetah. I have photographed both many times before, but have failed miserably when it comes to the latter.
The month started with an in-depth inquest into my failings with the cheetah — why was this cat eluding me in ways no other animal has? Doubt is part of the creative process, and I have certainly doubted myself plenty of times, but quitting is never an option.
I spent many hours pondering the question and having researched the species in great depth I had my answer. Cheetah are naturally shy animals and whilst the lion will happily wonder over to inquisitively investigate my camera, the cheetah will keep its distance and observe.
Cheetah require a different photographic approach to lions and a greater investment of time. I wanted to include a contextual narrative and sense of place in the image and that, of course, can only be done if the cheetah is in a suitable location — and not asleep!
I ventured into the field in late April armed with the findings of my inquest and determined to test my new approach. When I captured the image below, there was no initial intention of releasing it in print but, having been so well received by everyone that has seen it, we had to release it.
I am still not convinced that it is ‘the’ cheetah image and am convinced I can do better — I will be back to try again soon, but it is not a bad start.