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Bagheera

David Yarrow

Bagheera

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BAGHEERA
South Africa – 206

When I took this photograph, I had no immediate strong feelings about it, and I certainly did not imagine that it would become as popular as it has been. It was not an image that I dwelled over in the evening or played with on my computer. In my view, it ... show more
BAGHEERA
South Africa – 206

When I took this photograph, I had no immediate strong feelings about it, and I certainly did not imagine that it would become as popular as it has been. It was not an image that I dwelled over in the evening or played with on my computer. In my view, it was just OK, though I knew it was sharp.

But when I saw it printed large for the first time at the studio in Los Angeles, there was something that allowed it to hold the eye. It’s the black curves that do it—they are the feature that permits a simple picture to rise above the mundane. Sometimes a print disappoints and sometimes it raises the experience— this was the latter, which is unusual. My team is tough in the studio.

It is the magnificence of the cat that is key. I just happened to have the very best equipment and to be in the right place at the right time. Rich blacks tend to work in considered photography.

The best color to work against black is white or off-white, and this is where the image becomes a little special. I had pursued the leopard for an hour on foot, always circumventing to get ahead. The big moment could have come against any backdrop. The leopard posing against the light in tall wispy grass was the best possible outcome. While luck is “the residue of design,” I totally acknowledge that this is a lucky image. But then again, who cares?
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