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Legendary Photos: The Stories Behind 7 of Art Wolfe’s Iconic Images

Nature photographer discusses his classic shots

Photo of cheetah family by Art Wolfe

Cheetah and cubs (Acinonyx jubatus), Phinda Reserve, South Africa

Unlike lions, cheetahs are relatively solitary. I have always loved their regal beauty, but it is a sad story as there are only a few thousand left in the wild. Since they hunt by sight, they are active during the day, which makes their high-speed chases easily viewed and thrilling to watch. Getting decent photographs of those chases is something that has eluded me, but there is always next time, isn’t there? Hope springs eternal for the nature photographer!

Cheetahs often rest on termite mounds from which they can survey their surroundings. This is a necessity for a mother with many cubs to keep out of harm’s way. She has many responsibilities as the male does not participate in raising the offspring. She must provide enough food for her young and protect them from other predators, such as lions, leopards, and hyenas. I photographed this family on a late, cloudy afternoon. To gain a little more speed in the fading light, I pushed the Provia film one stop.

Captured with the Canon EOS-1N/RS and EF 600mm lens at f/5.6 for 1/30 second on Fujichrome Provia.

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