Black and white imaging is certainly not new in photography and goes back as far as photography its self. It could easily be argued that the African bush is so beautiful and has such amazing colour already, so why change this and photograph in black and white. Certainly one could argue this. But as photographers we are always looking for something different. How can I change up a scene; how can I make something special of this subject. I almost never set my camera to black and white as this would be too restrictive. Personally I prefer using the post processing stage of my photography to convert the RAW file to black and white.
But when you are setting up the picture and your intent is to possibly have a finished black and white photo, remember to look for contrast. Contrasting colours on a light coloured background work well. In this picture I have used my 200- 400 F4 lens and have framed the cheetah’s head and shoulders with just a few little branches to help surround the subject. I knew the background would be out of focus because I used a shallow depth of field. Luckily the cheetah looked up at a vulture landing in the tree above, giving me something to work with. In the post processing stage I upped the contrast, pushed up the yellows and then did a conversion into black and white.