A bold leopard was tracking and stalking a group of spotted deer for a while. We were following him in our safari vehicle, maintaining a distance. Then after a turn, the leopard suddenly slowed down and came close to our vehicle. Gradually, we understood his strategy of taking cover behind our vehicle while stalking. It was getting really late, with light fast decreasing, and our park exit time was also approaching. The leopard suddenly made his move and charged at a great speed. However, the deer herd was ever-alert, and they jumped and ran for their life.

I was too close to the scene to photograph even a full deer. So I decided to capture whatever was left of a deer (in my frame), and with a 1/30 shutter speed while hand-holding the camera, I focused on its back while it jumped and lunged forward. I tried to follow the movement of the deer with my camera. And I came up with this frame which I do like a lot because it is action-packed and tells a story.

 

This image won a Special Mention at Nature inFocus Photography Awards 2020, in the Young Photographer category.

Location: Nagarhole Tiger Reserve (Kabini), Karnataka, India. May 2019