steam and dust

greg du toit

It was a cold and nippy night in South Africa’s Mala Mala Game Reserve when we received a radio call to say that one of the dominant male leopards was on his night patrol and heading our way. Asking my guide to switch off and to wait in the dip it seemed to take ages for our subject to appear out of the dark night. When the leopard got to the rise in front of us, he paused and turning his head to the side, his warm exhaling breath turned to steam. He stood there like a vision before us, with his outline made visible by another safari vehicle’s lights. Frantically throwing my camera into manual mode and pressing my shutter, I could only hope that the steam and dust had recorded in my exposure.

Camera : NIKON D4S
Lens : 600.0 mm f/4.0
Focal Length : 600
Shutter Speed : 1/250
Aperture : 4
ISO/Film : 3200


A really special photo by Greg du Toit. It’s damn near perfect. The beautiful lighting, the reflection, the composition, the lioness looking up attentively into the distance. Many of the photos I wish I had taken appeal to me because in addition to a wonderful image, I wish I’d been there to see everything in real life. It’s especially true for this image. I think I would’ve lost my mind - in a good way - if I had witnessed this sighting in person.