Behind the shot - "Eyes".
This photo of a leopard curiously looking at me, only 30cm from the end of my lens, is what made me think that I could actually pursue my passion of wildlife photography.
I took this image in 2013, in the Maasai Mara Reserve (Kenya), where I was lucky enough to find myself following a very famous photographer, Carlo Mari, in one of his photographic workshops.
I had just decided to have a change in my life, from a career in business in China, to a more "adventurous" lifestyle, that will eventually lead me to live in the African Continent for 8 years.
I didn't really know what to do with my life so I jumped at the opportunity to go back in the African Bush, where I was lucky enough to spend a good chunk of my childhood.It was August, and the Great Migration was in full swing, with the famous crossings, lots of interaction between predators and prey, and the occasional sight of leopards.
We were lucky enough to have spotted a leopard on almost all of our game drives, but I never was able to take a half decent shot, often because of high grass, bushes or by not being quick enough with my camera.
During our last day we found a young leopard sleeping in the bush, and we decided to stay hoping it would wake up and give us the chance for some good shots.
After waiting about half an hour, we were lucky and it slowly stretched, got up and walked to a nearby water pond to drink
We managed to take some good enough pictures when the leopard decided to give us a show, rolling in the ground and behaving like a domestic cat.
Just when we were about to leave the sighting, the leopard got up, and started walking straight towards our car, looking at me.
Eventually came to sniff the car and investigating what we were. I took this opportunity by slightly leaning out of the car, point the camera and click the shutter before the leopard calmly strolled off.
The result is a tack-sharp image of the most elusive cat of the African bush, with an unusual angle of view.
If you look closely, you can almost see my reflection in the eyes of the leopard.
This shot looks amazing as a finishing touch for any space.
Before that trip to Africa, and before this picture, I wasn't sure on what direction to take with my life, so this shot has a particular feeling to me and I like to think was the beginning of a wonderful passion and an amazing journey.