Behind the Shot: “Jaguar Crawling”

Location: Porto Jofré, Pantanal (Brazil)
Time of Day: Noon
Date: July 2019

This was a moment I will not easily forget. It came about one morning as we were headed back towards our camp. It was almost noon and the sun was bright. We spotted this female crossing the river towards a sandbank, and I knew we would be able to get some great shots of her. Once on the sandbank, she spotted something in the water, likely a Cayman, and lunged after it causing a big splash and a lot of commotion. She appeared with nothing and obviously missed her intended target.

Soon though she crossed once again towards a larger sandbank next to the mainland. As soon as she got onto land she spotted some Capybara nearby, and immediately dropped down into stealth mode. It was instant and I knew I had to hustle to get the shot. I had my 2x teleconverter mounted to my Sony 400 f2.8, and using the Sony A9. As she dropped down low she “jaguar-crawled” in our direction. I just kept firing away, hoping for the best. I hardly had any time to check my settings, but I knew I was in the ballpark in terms of speed and exposure. I great advancement with mirrorless technology is that you can see your exposure LIVE in the viewfinder or the LCD display, which basically means you know more or less if your exposure is set. It really helps a lot and gets you the shot more often than what you would with the older DSLR’s.

This stalking posture was over in seconds, as soon as she had found some cover she relaxed and then tried to find a way closer to them.

This however involved some mud. Actually, enough mud to cause some issues with her intended plan. The Capybara spotted her and dived into the water, leaving her to find her way out of the mud. After some careful maneuvering she got back into the water and once she hit the mainland, vanished into the undergrowth.

It gave us a sensational encounter with a Jaguar, and some images that to this day, stand out as some of my favourite of this incredible cat.

To view & photograph Jaguars in the Pantanal, is an experience unlike any other. These animals are so often on the move and often during the most beautiful light of day. The prey they hunt often bask and relax on sandbanks during the hotter part of the day, meaning this is exactly when the big cats, the Jaguars, want to be out and about on the hunt.

Below I’ll share a link so that you too can join me for the safari experience of a lifetime. The Pantanal delivers in every way possible.

Thanks again for reading. If you enjoyed this post, please do leave a comment below and I’ll respond.

Till next time!

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