Award-winning photographer and Earth Capture contributor, Chris Schmid travels the world capturing the beauty of nature through his lens. With a passion for conservation, his images of Africa encapsulate his growing concern for our ever-changing environment while showing the unique beauty of the continent.

Schmid came across this pack of wild dogs looking to make a kill. Unfortunately for them (but fortunately for the giraffe) their intended prey was far too big of a target.

With around 6,600 left in the wild, African wild dogs are an endangered species. The decline of populations is ongoing, due to habitat fragmentation, human persecution, and disease.

“I always feel very lucky and fortunate to be able to spend some time with them,” says Schmid.

Spending long days and nights waiting for the perfect lighting or for an animal to move into the right position, Schmid knows wildlife photography is a game of patience.

“As luck would have it, this guy decided to come back to his kill in the beautiful golden light,” he says, having waited all afternoon to get this shot.

Taking a helicopter flight over Botswana's Okavango Delta, Schmid spotted a solitary lioness wandering through a green papyrus field.

“A lioness without her pride is like a lone ranger”, he says.

Careful not to drop any of his camera equipment while shooting through the open door, opportunity struck when the lioness lifted her gaze to the sound of the helicopter.

Early mornings are part of the package in wildlife photography. After waking up at 5am, the team left camp looking for the Kapamba pride of lions that could be heard roaring throughtout the night. After 90 minutes of searching with no success, Schmid spotted some tracks near the dried up Luangwa river. Driving on for a further 10 minutes, following the lion tracks where possible, he noticed two male lions on a kill in the middle of the river.

“It was quite strange to see them in the middle of the river with no cover to assist their hunt”, he says.

The team followed this female cheetah every day over two weeks in the Maasai Mara. With approximately 7,100 cheetahs left in the wild, it’s rare to be able to spend so much time with these big cats.

Making direct eye contact with a cheetah is no easy feat because to them it’s a sign of a challenge or a threat. Schmid believes eye contact is fundamental in engaging the viewer so was overjoyed when she turned her head and looked straight down the camera for a matter of seconds.

“Believe me, there is nothing more intense than a big cat looking you straight in the eyes.”

For more of Chris Schmid’s inspiring photography visit www.schmidchris.com

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