Puma Stalking Guanaco

We had some nice moments during my recent Patagonia tour, including two of the best hunting/stalking sequences I’ve witnessed to date. Neither, including this attempt at a guanaco, was successful. In this case, the puma was doing a nice job sneaking up on her target, but the moment she froze against that darker soil, she was spotted. Still, it was nice to catch this from a head-on angle while the build-up was taking place.

Canon R3
Canon 600mm EF
ISO 5000




Wow. Great perspective. Cats sure are cats no matter their size. They all move, hunt and stalk the same way. Excellent selective focus, too. Not that you could have done differently unless you blended two shots, but I think the extreme OOF works fine here. You could think about darkening the dirt down just a little - maybe dehaze or luminance would do the trick. Just a thought.

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Hi Max, love the inherent tension in this image with the hunt in progress and well captured. I think the out of focus object of the hunt is fine as it conveys the story being told. Interesting behavioral image. Well done.

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Thanks, Kristen and Allen, for the feedback. I also think having the guanaco OOF helps draw the eye, eventually, to the puma, which is important since it’s relatively small and harder to initially spot in the frame. The idea that someone will first be drawn to the colorful foreground blob and then go and find the animal that is trying to stalk it while staying hidden helps tell the story better from the standpoint of a visual sequence.

I just love the placement of both the subjects in frame and the precise focus enhances the Puma’s intensity. Ideally, I would have preferred some more definition in the Guanaco, but I believe that wasn’t possible with 600 mm.
Cool story telling image !