National Geographic knows a thing or two about quality photographs. The photo above was taken by Stefano Pesarelli in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya and received an Honorable Mention in this year’s National Geographic photo contest. It’s easy to see why. It is a striking photo that illustrates the amazing speed of the Cheetah.
Pesarelli says, “This panning effect, even in its imperfection, with the chromatic harmony of the background, with all the needless information eliminated and the luck of having the big cat’s lifted tail in symmetry with the impala horns, brings the observer inside the hunting without distractions.”
If it seems all a blur of speed to you, just imagine how its prey felt. Cheetahs can reach speeds of up to 120 km/h over short distances. They stalk their prey until they are less than 30 meters (100 feet) away. That’s when they make the sudden dash after them.
The contest had over 20,000 photographs submitted from over 130 countries depicting scenes of people, places, or nature. You can see all of the winners here.