Nirav Shah

Camera: Canon 450 D

Lens: 70-200mm f4 L Lens

Aperture: f4

Shutter speed: 1/400s

ISO: 800

Description: Handsome Rekero stands alert in the tall grass during the early morning hours of the wild Masai Mara, Kenya.

Story from behind the lens: The rain during the night gave way to a wet but crisp morning, the light was really soft and we had just heard that Rekero, a handsome male leopard, had been sighted near a bush. He had killed a topi the previous day but perhaps it was too heavy to haul up a tree, so he hid it in a bush instead. It's rare to see a leopard out in the open during the day. Rekero stepped out of the bush into the morning light, not too far from his kill, perhaps to escape the wet thicket and enjoy the the gentle warmth of the sun. When he stood up and turned his head almost in my direction it was magical, and I clicked away, fortunate to capture this shot of his full body and his head. The light level was low, so I had to open up the aperture as much as I could and raise my ISO to the highest I could. The distance to Rekero was fixed, and consequently, this meant having to contend with a shallow depth of field. I decided to just focus on his head and the intensity of his eyes. I chose to render this image in monochrome as I felt that Rekero blended in too well with the tall green grass in the background. By stripping away colour, I felt that Rekero stood out more, as did his coat and his facial expression.