South Africa 2015
There is no doubt this image of a black leopard in South Africa, grabs the attention – social media immediately informed on that – but my role in the strength of the image is secondary. It is the magnificence of the cat that is key – I just happened to have the very best equipment and to be in the right place at the right time. Rich blacks tend to work in considered photography – Matisse said “It has taken me 40 years to discover my favourite colour is black”.
The best colour to work against black is white or off white and this is where the image becomes a little special. I had pursued the leopard for an hour on foot – always circumventing to get ahead and the big moment – if it came – could have come against any backdrop. That the leopard should pose side against the light, in tall wispy grass was the best possible outcome. Whilst luck is the “residue of design”, I totally acknowledge that this is a lucky image. But then again, who cares?