Peter Vanek

Camera: Sony Alpha 1

Lens: 600mm F4

Aperture: 4.0

Shutter speed: 1/1250

ISO: 2500

Description: Female leopard perched in a treetop, looking for her next prey.

Story from behind the lens: It was my final day in the Mara and after an incredible 7 days of sightings I challenged my guides with spotting all of the Big 5 in a single day. The morning light had just begun to break across the sky when we came across this beautiful leopard. We watched her climb to the top of the tree, peering out and searching for her next meal. With no prey in sight, she descended from the tree and slinked through the tall grass until she came upon another tree which she adeptly scaled and laid in wait. Capturing this moment, particularly as she contorted her body in the tree top was an absolute thrill- as with many moments in the Mara, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The shot was challenging because I wanted to make sure the subject and the foreground stayed tack sharp, while softening just enough of the background to eliminate distraction, but at the same time making sure the context wasn't lost. By the end of the day, we'd seen 4/5 of the big 5 (the rhino escaped us), but we saw a cheetah with her cubs which made up for it.