Leopard Reflection
Leopard Reflection

Shirley’s award winning photograph “Leopard Reflection” is a shot of an old, male leopard taking a long drink after a kill. The photo was taken on the Singita Private Game Reserve, in the Sabi Sands, Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Leopard Tree
Leopard Tree copy

For a number of years I have been entering the annual North American Nature Photography Association’s Showcase Competition with absolutely NO RESULTS!! Well, it finally happened! I got in! The above photo, “Leopard Reflection” was selected to be in the top 100 photos. Now, the math on this works out to over 2400 images were submitted this year! This is what I did to change things:

1. I entered as many categories as possible.
2. I entered strong compositions
3. I tried to title the photos what they were
4. I entered 6 images, all different

The really odd thing was, “Leopard Reflection” got into the Top Ten, and “Leopard Tree” was a semifinalist. Go figure. The moral of the story is: judges change every year and so does their evaluations.

Ultimately, it does help to have really great photo opportunities, and naturally, a Lense On! to steady your big lens! I used my Lense On! to get both photos. In the out take photos, you will see my prototype of Lense On! I found out a plastic base and light weight fabric do not hold up, but duct tape helped!

Lense On, side view smaller

I would have never got this shot of the old leopard drinking without the use of Lense On! My camera is a Canon D Mark III with a Canon EF 100-400 1:4.5-5.6 L IS lense. Since the telephone is manual, to get close enough for the short I had to fully extend the lense. A fully extended lense is impossible to hand hold and get a sharp photo. Even with other people in the safari truck, I was able to get sharp focus of his face and fur. This is an award winning photograph.

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