I just sold a framed print of Zebras and Wildebeest Running: 12 x 36 inches plus matte and frame. When someone buys a print, I always enjoy telling them the story behind the photo.
This image was taken on one of my photo tours that I lead in Tanzania and was made with my DSLR modified to record infrared light.
It was taken in October 2013 in an area of the northern Serengeti called Lobo. We were looking for game on the eastern border where the Serengeti abuts a traditionally Maasai area named Loliondo. When we arrived at the stream just below the edge of the image, the zebras and wildebeest were drinking casually and it was so peaceful that we were lulled into complacency. All of a sudden, the herd startled and turned to run and it took me about a second or two to start shooting. Once the scene had calmed down and I had shot what I wanted, I lowered the camera from my eye and looked to the right to find the cause. A large male cheetah emerged from the bush walking directly towards the herd. In the end, he never gave chase – maybe he had already hunted – and we watched as he continued to the shade of a large acacia tree to relax.
I don’t know that I would have chosen to shoot this in infrared if I had time to think about it, but sometimes you just have to shoot quickly with what you have in your hands. I like the end result.