Inspirations – Paul Souders
1Ds Mark II, 16-35mm f/2.8 at f/4.5, 1.3 seconds, ISO 400
Although I almost never work with captive animals, there are some images you really can’t do in the wild, at least not without breaking the law as well as harassing or stressing an animal.
During a road trip in Southern Africa, I was shooting landscapes of the Kokerboom (Quivertree) Forest outside the town of Keetmanshoop in Namibia. The farm’s owners also maintain a small sanctuary for orphaned cheetahs. I’d always wanted to shoot low and wide of a cheetah striding across the savanna. Here was one setting where, with a bit of sweet talking, I was able to walk beside the habituated animal. She wasn’t entirely pleased with my presence, and kept moving back and forth across her fenced perimeter. I laid nearly flat on the ground and waited as she passed, firing my flash and panning in the dusk as she strode past. I used a long exposure to capture the twilight and create that sense of motion and energy. ~ Paul Souders