søndag 16. desember 2012


Female cheetah Masai Mara
D3s, 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/320, ISO 4000

Even though I have been some 15 previous times in Eastern & Southern Africa I never had much luck with cheetahs. One reason is obviously that I never gave cheetah-landscapes much priority in my choices of destinations, and another obvious reason is apparently : "bad cheetah luck". In November this year I had my "Africa south of Sahara-experience" no 16 (!!) and spent approx 2 weeks in Samburu NP in central Kenya and Masai Mara in Southern Kenya..... and finally I had my : 
"cheetah heaven" !! 

I come home with tons of materials !! ....and to show you the "tip of the iceberg" from this trip I will have to produce blogs all through winter. Don`t say I didn`t warn you !!

When it comes to the cheetahs I have decided to limit my "portfolio"for you to 20 images. It`s been a painful process, I wish I could show you 200 instead ! 

A warm thank you to Arnfinn Johansen, Ole Jørgen Liodden & Tommy Solberg for great company and great inspiration !!  

Male cheetah in Samburu NP. Samburu is know to be extremely dry, and the species found in the NP also reflects this fact. However, they had rain in November, and the Samburu landscape was like the Garden of Eden !!
D4, 600/4,0 +1,4 converter, f/5,6, 1/200, ISO 3200

Male cheetah Samburu NP
D4, 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/500, ISO 640

Male cheetah in Samburu NP. You don`t often get eye contact with cats like this.
D4, 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/500, ISO 1100.

Male cheetah chilling out in the green lush of Samburu NP
D3s, 200-400 4,0 /380, f6,3, 1/250, ISO 500

To get this low angle I carefully slipped out of the car on the back side, lay down flat behind the wheel, and slowly got in position shooting from underneath the car. This shot is from the moment she spotted me. I will never forget those eyes !! The picture is taken outside the NP of Masai Mara.
D4, 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/640, ISO 1000  

This cheetah mother have "teenage kids", and she knows she will have to learn the cubs to hunt and to kill. She has caught the impala calf, brings it alive back to the cubs, and releases it for the cubs to make the kill. Masai Mara NP.
D3s, 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/1000, ISO 3200

Just before the release !
D4, 200-400 4,0/400mm, f/,3, 1/500, ISO 2000 

The impala calf has been released and the cheetah cubs are to slow to catch it. Cheetah-Mom has to take action again.
D4, 200-400 4,0 / 350 mm, f/6,3, 1/500, ISO 2000   

The female Masai Mara cheetah has outrun an adult thompson gazelle (!!) and kills it by suffocation.
D3s, 200-400 4,0/310mm, f/6,3, 1/640, ISO 4000

Masai Mara
D3s, 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/400, ISO 1800

The kiss of death ? (Masai Mara)
D3s, 600 4,0, f/5,0, 1/320, ISO 1800

Samburu cheetah
D4, 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/400, ISO 450

A Samburu cheetah has taken a grant gazelle calf and again : killing by suffocation.
D4, 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/800, ISO 2800

D4, 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/400, ISO 3200 (Samburu)

D3s, 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/500, ISO 9000 (!) (Masai Mara)

An affectionate wash after dinner (Masai Mara)
D3s, 600 4,0, f/5,0, 1/250, ISO 3200

Not a great picture, but a great moment !! The cheetah mother is keeping her 3 (?) newborn kittens, only 2 weeks old, carefully hidden inside a thick bush, hoping not to attract lions & hyenas which pose the biggest threat for these small youngsters (Masai Mara).
D3s, 600 4,0, f/5,0, 1/500, ISO 1400

Teenagers (Masai Mara)
D3s, 600 4,0, f/5,0, 1/500, ISO 1400

Masai Mara
D3s, 600 4,0, f/5,0, 1/500, ISO 1000  

Female cheetah (Masai Mara)
D4, 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/640, ISO 1400