Cheetah vantage point, Serengeti National Park

Continuing the story from my last post where a cheetah popped up from the long grass to observe wildebeest as they ran by.    Having lost interest in the passing herd,  this cat decided to use a nearby ant hill as a vantage point.   It is quite common behaviour for cheetahs, who have excellent eyesight, to use features such as anthills as vantage points to survey their surroundings. Cheetah on anthill, Serengeti National Park

This image was captured with the Canon 5D and the 500mm F4.0 telephoto lens with 1.4x tele-extender,  so total focal length 700mm.

****  Updated 18.11.16.   I decided to go with a monochrome presentation using Silver Efex Pro to add a light sepia toning,  this recent reworking of the image is a bit more subtle in it's toning than my earlier processing.  I guess this reflects my changing taste in processing.    Also I now look at the image and wish I'd placed the cheetah further to the left of the frame to give the animal more room within the frame to "look into".    ****     ~KD.

Cheetah in long grass. Serengeti National Park.

We were in Serengeti National Park, watching a herd of wildebeest, numbering several hundred, running past.   I was experimenting with some pan and blur shots, when I saw some movement in the long grass.   Moments later a pair of ears popped up and I realized that we were not the only interested spectators!   This cheetah watched intently, unseen by the wildebeest as they ran by.   We watched as he stalked through the grass, creeping up on the herd, but then decided not to try and attack them.      I'm sure a cheetah would be quite capable of taking down a wildebeest calf but may have been dissuaded by the presence of so many adults on the move, or maybe he just wasn't hungry enough.

Shortly after taking this shot a second cheetah also popped up from the long grass, the two later walked out into a clearing close to our vehicle and wandered past quite unconcerned by our presence.

Cheetah in grass, Serengeti National Park

This image was captured with the Canon 5D with the 500mm F4.0 lens plus 1.4x tele extender at F6.3, shutter speed was 1/500 second at ISO 50.   The image was had very little post processing, a very slight increase in colour saturation, vibrance and "clarity" in Adobe Camera Raw followed by a modest cropping and some selective sharpening in Photoshop CS3.