The enchanted woodland
As the Sun slid towards the horizon, the soft afternoon light transformed Kenya’s Lake Nakuru National Park into an enchanted woodland. The fever trees were a good enough subject by themselves, but David was ‘thrilled to encounter this leopard resting so magnificently on one of the boughs’. He removed the teleconverter on his lens to get a wider view of the scene. The leopard was relaxed, repositioning itself every now and then, but David wanted a pose that was a little more special. Aware that the dappled light was fading fast, he waited. He was using a long lens in low light at 1/500 sec with a very high ISO setting. He was forced to rely on his back-up camera, which he had never used with this lens before, after his main camera broke down. At the moment the leopard yawned, he took the shot and captured ‘the animal laid out perfectly on the branch’. To make it truly special, he stitched together two images, the second featuring the woodland now bathed in the Sun’s last rays – so ‘recreating the magical scene’ as he would remember it.
Nikon D800E + 400mm f2.8 lens; 1/500 sec at f4; ISO 900; beanbag.
Lake Nakuru National Park, Nakuru, Kenya.
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David Lloyd, New Zealand/ United Kingdom
Originally from New Zealand, David now lives in London but spends up to three months a year in Africa, photographing and leading photo safaris. His images have won awards and have been widely published in the press and several photographic monthlies, in both the UK and abroad. David also holds exhibitions of his work, most recently at the Royal Geographic Society in London in 2014.