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Megatransect II

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Photograph by Michael Nichols

With a burning gaze, a leopard peers from the darkness in Odzala National Park. Since leopards are secretive and nocturnal, photographer Michael Nichols found that the camera trap was the best way to capture them on film. The most widely distributed of all the wild cats, leopards feed on a remarkable variety of prey—from dung beetles to antelope.

Camera: Nikon N90
Film Type: Kodachrome 64
Lens: 100mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/4 @ f/5.6 (Remember it’s night and the only light is that provided by flashes.)
Weather Conditions: Clear
Time of Day: Unrecorded
Lighting Techniques: Camera trap flash.

Special Equipment or Comments:
“Camera Traps”—The camera is triggered by an infrared beam called a Trailmaster. When the leopard’s body broke the beam it told the camera to take a picture. The camera was kept in a waterproof box fronted with optical glass, and flashes were kept in plastic Ziploc bags. Specially adapted Nikon cords ran from the camera to flashes. The camera stayed in place for two months and was checked once a week.

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