South Africa, 2022
52” x 100” Unframed 67” x 115” Framed Edition of 12
35” x 67” Unframed 50” x 82” Framed Edition of 12
I don’t know of a quicker animal over short distances than a black panther. I guess the cheetah would be a close rival, but in our early school days we were told of a cheetah’s speed and therefore to see them run - whilst exhilarating - is no great shock. Our familiarity with black panthers is less established and to witness their speed from a standing position was a revelation for me. They make Usain Bolt look slow out of the blocks.
They can be a little too quick for my camera and, in any case, my preference is to glorify the considered look of menace accompanying their prowl. Their focused eyes offer an insight into the character of an alpha cat. They are tough cats to compete against both intellectually and physically.
These portraits work best when shooting into the rising sun; it may be counter intuitive, but it lends abstract shapes to a background that I want to inform whilst not competing with the main event.
~ David Yarrow