Do you have a cat at home? If yes, you will know how they can sit statue like and look at you, but actually look straight through you. Big cats in the bush do exactly the same, but mostly we think they really look at us, when they don’t.
Guests on photographic safaris, wildlife photography courses and team building photographic safaris are always happy when they get back to the camp and have a leopard portrait with the animal looking straight into the camera. And yes, these images are great, but they mostly only mean that the camera was pointing on the face of the cat, it does not mean the cat was looking in the camera.
But how do you know that they are really looking at you or your camera? You feel it. When a big cat like a lion or leopard is looking at you, a strong energy comes to you, feeling pretty intimidating and goes through and through. At that moment you might feel you want to run away, what you don’t do, because you would behave like prey. And you feel it also when looking through the viewfinder. When your eye and the eye of the cat really meet, the shutter releases almost by itself from the energy of that connecting moment.
Ever tried with your cat at home? Try and feel the difference.
Ute Sonnenberg for www.rohoyachui.com