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Thread: Cheetah v Thompson's Gazelle

  1. #1
    Lifetime Member Marc Mol's Avatar
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    Default Cheetah v Thompson's Gazelle

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    Continuing on from my last sequence posting this was the same cheetah mum the following day bringing down a young thompson's gazelle, finally her 2 young cubs had their first meal in (what we believed) 3 days.

    Like with most chase/hunting scenes they happen at some distance, so at this web resolution the scale is quite small and loses a little of the impact, but I hope one can get some sense of the action depicted here.

    I quickly changed from my 80-400 to my 500/4 in the last image as the moment of impact led to a large dust cloud obscuring the take down as often happens and captured the last minute struggle here, closer up.


    Ndutu/Serengeti- Nth Tanzania.

    Cheers
    Marc
    Last edited by Marc Mol; 10-06-2015 at 11:51 AM.


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    Story Sequences Moderator and Wildlife Moderator Gabriela Plesea's Avatar
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    Hello Marc,

    I was barely catching my breath as I went through those images...Brought back some memories too:)

    Amazing how the victim (gazelle) stretches out its body to the limit, and flies over the vegetation to try and avoid being caught. What a sighting! Well done Marc!

    I had a similar experience some years ago at Mata Mata in the Kalahari, unfortunately we were not able to manoeuvre the vehicle in a better position to get better images because of other "spectators" present. A well known cheetah mom by the name of Eleanor was about to feed her cubs and we found her stalking through tall grass, she then came within a metre to our vehicle and dashed like an arrow behind it into the river bed, in pursuit of springbok. I thought I was so clever, had two lenses/cameras ready and at first took some frames with the cheetah approaching, oh and she got so close until I could focus no more...Then quickly dropped the 300 F2.8 and picked up my borrowed 200 lying on the other car seat... Suddenly the cheetah decided to run in the opposite direction and towards a big tree, leaped into the shade (there goes my shutter speed, LOL)... all **** broke loose as everyone was trying to get a glimpse of the action, cars were moving but we decided to just stay put and watch... I will never share those images, the light was harsh and I blew the HL big time...but I still treasure one particular frame with Eleanor behind some foliage, her body blurred with motion, springbok ahead gasping for breath in its leap to freedom. Eleanor had a collar on so I did not so any PP work on those images, only sent them to the guys who did research on the species...

    Wonderful sequence Marc, you are so fortunate to witness and capture this! My favourite frame? Hard to tell, I like them all, number 4 grabs me most:)

    Thank you so much for sharing, much appreciate it

    Kind regards,
    Gabriela Plesea

  3. #3
    Lifetime Member Marc Mol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriela Plesea View Post
    Hello Marc,

    I was barely catching my breath as I went through those images...Brought back some memories too:)

    Amazing how the victim (gazelle) stretches out its body to the limit, and flies over the vegetation to try and avoid being caught. What a sighting! Well done Marc!

    I had a similar experience some years ago at Mata Mata in the Kalahari, unfortunately we were not able to manoeuvre the vehicle in a better position to get better images because of other "spectators" present. A well known cheetah mom by the name of Eleanor was about to feed her cubs and we found her stalking through tall grass, she then came within a metre to our vehicle and dashed like an arrow behind it into the river bed, in pursuit of springbok. I thought I was so clever, had two lenses/cameras ready and at first took some frames with the cheetah approaching, oh and she got so close until I could focus no more...Then quickly dropped the 300 F2.8 and picked up my borrowed 200 lying on the other car seat... Suddenly the cheetah decided to run in the opposite direction and towards a big tree, leaped into the shade (there goes my shutter speed, LOL)... all **** broke loose as everyone was trying to get a glimpse of the action, cars were moving but we decided to just stay put and watch... I will never share those images, the light was harsh and I blew the HL big time...but I still treasure one particular frame with Eleanor behind some foliage, her body blurred with motion, springbok ahead gasping for breath in its leap to freedom. Eleanor had a collar on so I did not so any PP work on those images, only sent them to the guys who did research on the species...

    Wonderful sequence Marc, you are so fortunate to witness and capture this! My favourite frame? Hard to tell, I like them all, number 4 grabs me most:)

    Thank you so much for sharing, much appreciate it

    Kind regards,
    Thanks Gabriela for sharing your experience.


    So often these wonderful moments due to "natural" circumstances cannot be fully given justice regardless of all the latest/greatest gear we have, however ........we have these

    wonderful visions and vivid memories in our brain which are often THE best of all!


  4. #4
    Story Sequences Moderator and Wildlife Moderator Gabriela Plesea's Avatar
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    Indeed Marc. For this reason I tend to keep a number of images I will probably never process, but which give me so much joy as they help me relive the experience.

    I have only seen a few cheetah chasing prey. Our last sighting turned into a photographic fiasco, as the springbok suddenly changed direction and both hunter and hunted ran in the opposite direction (away from the vehicle). We were so sure they were going to run towards us, hearts were pounding, cameras ready, my greatest fear not being able to focus quick enough:) I ended up with the camera on my lap and laughing... Nature is so unpredictable albeit from time to time there's a reward for patience and hard work...
    Gabriela Plesea

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    Life Time Member Marina Scarr's Avatar
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    What a tension-filled sequence you have shared here! I love the fact that you have a couple of birds thrown in too! Super story and TFS.
    Marina Scarr
    Florida Master Naturalist
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    Lifetime Member Andre Pretorius's Avatar
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    Hi Marc

    Love the sequence captured!
    In the first image, I thought I had a spot on my screen, keep scrolling up and down..
    With following images a saw the bird--interesting to see it also getting out of the way!
    Never been able to shoot the chase, always something to halter us..
    Good capture of the drama..
    Regards

    Andre.

    www.gappimages.com

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    Wonderful sequence regardless of distance.

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