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First Annual Drone Photography Awards

Mada’in Saleh: Winner in the Nature category
Mada’in Saleh: Winner in the Nature category(Credit: Gabriel Scanu)

The Drone Awards is a new photography competition dedicated to the emerging art of aerial photography. This year’s inaugural competition has just revealed its winning snaps, a spectacular assortment of photographs ranging from gorgeously abstract images to profoundly unique portraits of urban life. read more

Droplet Art

 

It may have taken six months, hundred of pictures and endless patience, but the efforts of Indian photographer Tapan Sheth have all been worth it after he managed to capture these stunning images of ‘water sculptures’.

Sheth, from Rajkot, in Gujarat, added coloured dye to liquid along with guar gum, a food thickener similar to cornflour, then set up his camera equipment.

The 34-year-old  got these mesmerizing images by letting a drop fall into the rest of the liquid, then quickly pressing the camera shutter.

Tapan Sheth, 34, from India, took six months to create these mesmerising images by letting coloured droplets fall into liquid
Tapan Sheth, 34, from India, took six months to create these mesmerizing images by letting coloured droplets fall into liquid read more

Nightscapes

Shanghai, China, 2011

German photographer Jakob   Wagner has photographed many cities around the world at night. He scouts   each city location for a perfect vantage point before setting up his tripod   and capturing long-exposure photos of the cityscape. Shanghai, China, 2011

 

The Freedom Tower construction site in New York, USA, 2012

He says: “I think the most important thing is to be in the right spot at the   right time. I was lucky to work as an assistant for a few renowned   photographers while they were working all around the globe.” The Freedom Tower construction site in New York, USA, 2012

Picture: JAKOB WAGNER / CATERS NEWS read more

Sailfish Hunters

These incredible pictures show the formidable hunting skills of sailfish as they pick off sardines off the coast of Mexico.

The sailfish arrive at the Isla Mujeres every year to feast on the migrating sardines as part of an incredible natural spectacle known as the ‘Sailfish Run’, and were captured by underwater photographer Dr Peter Allinson.

The sailfish work as a group, using their sails to herd the schools of sardines, and then charge at high speed through the ball of fish, known as the bait ball, slashing with their swords to kill or stun prey before returning to consume their catch.

Bulls-eye! The sailfish's sword pierces a sardine in this incredible underwater photo taken off the coast of the Isla Mujeres in Mexico
Bulls-eye! The sailfish’s sword pierces a sardine in this incredible underwater photo taken off the coast of the Isla Mujeres in Mexico

 

To the victor go the spoils: The sailfish arrive at the Isla Mujeres in Mexico every year to feast on the migrating sardines
To the victor go the spoils: The sailfish arrive at the Isla Mujeres in Mexico every year to feast on the migrating sardines

The Atlantic sailfish, also found in the Caribbean, weighs up to 58 kilos. It has been clocked at 110 kilometres per hour (68mph) making it the quickest fish in the ocean.

Dr Allinson, 64, said: ‘A couple of years ago, someone got the idea that game fishing off the coast of Mexico could yield some photos of the fish underwater.

‘You wind up about 20-40 miles offshore, looking for signs of a bait ball of sardines. The most obvious sign are birds repeatedly diving in to feed.

‘You then hop in, swim as fast as you can to keep up with the sardine bait ball and sailfish hunting them.

Predators: The sailfish use teamwork and their massive sails to herd the sardines into position
Predators: The sailfish use teamwork and their massive sails to herd the sardines into position

 

The Atlantic sailfish can hit 68mph, making it the quickest fish in the ocean
The Atlantic sailfish can hit 68mph, making it the quickest fish in the ocean
The photographer said: 'It's all very quick. They are an amazingly fast fish. Blink your eye and it is over'
The photographer said: ‘It’s all very quick. They are an amazingly fast fish. Blink your eye and it is over’

‘It’s all very quick. They are an amazingly fast fish. Blink your eye and it is over.

‘But it’s really cool to watch the sailfish cooperate as they snack on the sardines.’

Dr Allinson, from Florida, who specialises in underwater and hyperbaric Medicine, added: ‘It can get a bit scary at times as the sailfish charge at and through the bait balls and frequently nearly impale you.’

One of these shots has been awarded The David Doubilet Award for Excellence in Underwater Photography for best in show at the 2013 Beneath the Sea photo contest.

Dr Allinson said photographing the fish can be a scary affair as they move so fast and nearly impaled him
The sailfish charge at high speed through the ball of fish slashing with their swords to kill prey
 Dr Allinson said photographing the fish can be a scary affair as they move so fast and nearly impaled him

Attribution: Sam Webb, Mail Online

Tilt shift Photos

 

The Wonders of the World have always inspired awe in visitors.

But if it’s possible, these mind-bending photos of them will prompt more gasps.

Wonders of the world have been transformed into their mini-versions in a seven-year round the world adventure – that cost $31,000.

 
A new view: The Pyramids and the Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt are given a new look in this mind-bending photo 
 The colossal Pyramids and the Great Sphinx of Giza, in Egypt – which measures 241ft long – are given a new look in this mind-bending photo

 

 
The Pyramids in Egypt are transformed into its mini-versions in a seven-year round the world adventure 
The Pyramids in Giza, which covers an area of 566,000 sq ft, are transformed into its mini-versions in a seven-year round the world adventure

 

 
One of the most famous sights in the world, the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, is given a fresh perspective through camera trickery 
One of the most famous sights in the world, the Taj Mahal mausoleum in Agra, India, which took 20,000 workers to build, is given a fresh perspective through camera trickery

 

 
Chichen Itza, a pyramid built by the Maya civilization, Mexico is part of the eye-popping visual feast from across the planet 
Chichen Itza, a pyramid built by the Maya civilization in a large pre-Columbian city in Mexico is part of the eye-popping visual feast from across the planet
 
A pair of fresh eyes: The Atlas Mountains, Morocco appear peculiarly small because of the creative focus 
 The Atlas Mountains, Morocco, which extend for 1,200 miles, appear peculiarly small because of the creative focus
  
 
 
Mini models! The colourful houses that sprawl across Reykjavik, the largest city and capital of Iceland, look like they could be dolls houses 
Mini models! The colourful houses that sprawl across Reykjavik, the largest city and capital of Iceland, look like they could be dolls houses

From ancient wonders like the legendary Acropolis of Greece and the stone heads of Easter Island to modern icons such as the famous Brooklyn Bridge in New York and London’s Houses of Parliament – these are the mini-monuments that will dazzle you.

Other outstanding pictures include the Eiffel Tower made to look like a toy over the Paris, the jaw-dropping vista of Machu Picchu in Peru made tiny and while not technically a wonder the fun image of a dreamy landscape invaded by hot-air balloons has been included.

By using a photo-processing method called tilt-shift, New York photographer Richard Silver, 51, spent £20,000 over seven-years to create the eye-popping visual feast from across the planet.

 
Made you look! Teotihuacan in Mexico appears tiny. The result can be achieved through a blurred focus and photographing a subject from a high angle 
Made you look! Teotihuacan in Mexico appears tiny. The result can be achieved through a blurred focus and photographing a subject from a high angle

 

 
The famous Brooklyn Bridge in New York is dwarfed in this imaginative photo 
The famous Brooklyn Bridge in New York is dwarfed in this imaginative photo. By simulating a shallow field of depth, subjects can appear smaller than they are

 

 
Some of the Monolithic Maoi statues of Easter Island reach 7m tall and have entranced the world for centuries - but they look positively miniscule in this image 
Some of the Monolithic Maoi statues of Easter Island reach 7m tall and have entranced the world for centuries – but they look positively miniscule in this image

 

 
The Acropolis in Athens has theatres, temples, sanctuarys and odeons - but in this picture it looks like it would struggle to hold a hundred visitors 
The Acropolis in Athens has theatres, temples, sanctuarys and odeons – but in this picture it looks like it would struggle to hold a hundred visitors
 

‘In this picture-series you are traveling the world with me,’ said Richard.

‘Since 2006 everywhere I have travelled I take a few photos that will be tilt shift-ed and added to my portfolio.

‘What I am trying to accomplish is to shrink-fit the world, one city at a time.

The globe-trotting snapper’s master-plan is to one-day photograph every city on the planet using his quirky technique for making the epic become miniature.

For Richard it’s the reaction of people who view his work that makes it all worthwhile.

Toy town! The 15th century Inca site of Machu Picchu in Peru covers13-square metres and is built 7,970ft above sea level 
Toy town! The 15th century Inca site of Machu Picchu in Peru covers13-square meters and is built 7,970ft above sea level
 
 
It may be the largest amphitheatre in the world, but the Colosseum in Rome looks a fraction of its true size 
It was largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire, and is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering. It may be the largest amphitheatre in the world, but the Colosseum in Rome looks a fraction of its true size

 

 
The Eiffel Tower in Paris looks like a toy in comparison to the 320m-tall structure - that is the same height as an 81-storey tower 
The Eiffel Tower in Paris looks like a toy in comparison to the 320m-tall structure – that is the same height as an 81-storey tower

 

 
The Great Wall of China may measure 13,170.69 miles and snake across the huge sub-continent, 
The Great Wall of China may measure 13,170.69 miles and snake across the huge sub-continent, but this picture makes it look so small that it could be crossed in a day

 

 
The Hagia Sophia, Istanbul may be 82m long and 55m high, but it appears minute in this picture. 
The Hagia Sophia, Istanbul may be 82m long and 55m high, but it appears minute in this picture. The mosque and dome have entranced architects for years – but this picture makes it look as if visitors could circle it in minutes
 
 
The magnificent Houses of Parliament, which holds Big Ben and is the most central government building in the UK 
The magnificent Houses of Parliament, which holds Big Ben and is the most central government building in the UK, look like they’re part of a small-scale model – right down to the tiny cars crossing Westminster bridge

 

 
Petra, the historical and archaeological city in the southern Jordanian governorate of Ma'an is half-built, half-carved into the rock,  
Petra, the historical and archaeological city in the southern Jordanian governorate of Ma’an is half-built, half-carved into the rock, and is surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges – not that you’d know it from this picture

‘Most people are able to recognize the places that I photograph,’ he said.

‘When they recognize the location the smile that seeing my pictures brings to their faces makes all of my work worth doing.

‘Some people don’t believe me, even after I tell them that it is a real photograph with real people.

‘My favorite question is ‘is that a model or is that real?’.

‘When that is asked, I accomplished what I set out to do.’

Richard’s work is on permanent display at the LaGrange Gallery, Georgia, USA.

 
 
The colourful streets of Tokyo, Japan, are renowned for their bustling pace and towering buildings
The colorful streets of Tokyo, Japan, are renowned for their bustling pace and towering buildings – but this concrete jungle looks more like a playground in this photograph
 
Hawaii beaches are known for their stretches of sand that hug the coast
Hawaii beaches are known for their long stretches of sand that hug the coast – but during this seven-year trip the photographer – whose work is on display in Georgia – saw a different side to the sights

 

 
A bustling street in Korea looks like something out of a game - but the vehicles are actually navigating huge traffic arteries in the Asian country
A bustling street in Korea looks like something out of a game – but the vehicles are actually navigating huge traffic arteries in the Asian country

 

 
At 65m high with its distinctive blue paint, London's Tower Bridge is one of the most well-known sights in the capital
At 65m (213 ft) high with its distinctive blue paint, London’s Tower Bridge is one of the most well-known sights in the capital – but Richard Silver turns the tables on a well-known sight once again

 
The Mykonos Windmills are an iconic feature of the Greek island of the Mykonos

The Mykonos Windmills are an iconic feature of the Greek island of the Mykonos. From as early as the 16th century one of the most recognized landmarks on the island, which is one of the Cyclades islands
 
Attribution: Anna Edwards, Mail Online

Amazing Yosemite Photographs

Photographer captures spectacular moment lightning bolt clashes with a rainbow at Yosemite

This is the spectacular moment a photographer struck gold by capturing a bolt of lightning cracking through a rainbow during a freak weather display.

The extraordinary one-of-a-kind sighting was captured by keen photographer Nolan Nitschke, 27, while on a trip to Yosemite National Park in California, U.S.

Mr Nitschke knew a storm was approaching the area and that the incredible rocky peaks throughout the park act as lightning rods. However, he had no idea he would capture such a breathtaking moment.

Magical: This is the dramatic moment a photographer captured a bolt of lightning cracking through a rainbow in a freak weather display
This is the dramatic moment a photographer captured a bolt of lightning cracking through a rainbow in a freak weather display

 

Extraordinary: The one-of-a-kind sighting was captured by keen photographer Nolan Nitschke, 27, while on a trip to Yosemite National Park in California, U.S
 The one-of-a-kind sighting was captured by keen photographer Nolan Nitschke, 27, while on a trip to Yosemite National Park in California, U.S

 

Beautiful: To get his impressive picture, Nolan knew a storm was approaching the area and that the rocky peaks act as lightning rods. This is another of his impressive images of the national park
 To get his impressive picture, Nolan knew a storm was approaching the area and that the rocky peaks act as lightning rods. This is another of his impressive images of the national park

After spending hours painstakingly trying for the perfect shot he finally hit the jackpot as the bright lightning crashed through the colorful rainbow lighting up the dark sky.

Mr Nitschke, from Bishop in California, said: ‘I was determined to capture a lightning bolt with Half Dome in the background and knowing a storm was getting close I set out to capture it.

‘I was there trying to accomplish this goal which wasn’t a given but little did I know I would get it on my first real visit for this purpose – albeit after a few hours missing out.

‘The thunderstorm rolled into Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada. Yosemite and its granite cliffs, domes, and spires are famous for becoming lightning rods during these types of storms.

Impressive: This wide shot of the rocky surroundings of the national park show how attractive the area is

This wide shot of the rocky surroundings of the national park show how attractive the area is

Keen: The photographer spent hours painstakingly trying for the perfect shot of the lightning bolt through the rainbow. This is another of his impressive photographs
 The photographer spent hours painstakingly trying for the perfect shot of the lightning bolt through the rainbow. This is another of his impressive photographs

 

Glorious: Mr Nitschke also managed to capture this stunning rainbow during his time at Yosemite National Park
 Mr Nitschke also managed to capture this stunning rainbow during his time at Yosemite National Park

‘I had seen lightning, rainbows and storms before but never all together at once and especially not in one of the most beautiful places in the world.’

Mr Nitschke tried  unsuccessfully for hours to capture a lightning bolt, missing numerous ones that would flash after the shutter would close or before it would open.

‘A split second after I opened the shutter I saw the flash and my heart nearly stopped’, he added.

 Yosemite
A stunning rainbow at a waterfall in Yosemite
 The Californian photographer also captured this stunning rainbow at a waterfall in Yosemite, right, as well as this image of an icy lake at the foot of some mountains

 

Spectacular: With its granite cliffs, domes, and spires, Yosemite is famous for becoming lightning rods during storms
 With its granite cliffs, domes, and spires, Yosemite is famous for becoming lightning rods during storms

 

Detailed: This impressive picture taken by the 27-year-old shows a fast-flowing river in Yosemite
 This impressive picture taken by the 27-year-old shows a fast-flowing river in Yosemite

‘I knew instantly that it was dead centre in the composition and that a partial rainbow had begun forming.

‘At first I couldn’t breathe, talk, or move. A second later, after the reality of what I had captured settled in I yelled with excitement and lot of expletives.

‘It was an incredible moment and I’m just glad I decided that day to pick up my camera and give it a go because I don’t know if I will ever get the chance again.’

 

Attribution:  Anthony Bond , Mail Online

Natural Camouflage Leaves this American Owl Barely Visible

Owls this for a disguise?

An eastern screech owl is barely visible at  the entrance to a tree hole – thanks to its perfectly evolved camouflage.

These incredible pictures were taken by  photographer Graham McGeorge, 42, in Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia.

Natural camouflage: An eastern screech owl disguised in the hollow of a tree in Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia
An eastern screech owl disguised in  the hollow of a tree in Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia

 

I see YOU: Screech owls are quite common across North America but they generally go unnoticed
 Screech owls are quite common across North  America but they generally go unnoticed

Usually solitary, screech owls nest in a tree  cavity, either natural or excavated by a woodpecker.

They have either rusty or dark grey  intricately patterned plumage with streaking on the underparts, helping them to  blend in perfectly in their woodland homes.

The birds don’t actually build a nests.  Instead, females lay their eggs directly on the layer of fur and feathers left  over from previous meals that lines the bottom of its den.

They are strictly nocturnal, roosting during  the day in cavities or next to tree trunks.

Although quite common, and often be found in  residential areas, they generally go unnoticed.

Hiding place: Usually solitary, screech owls nest in a tree cavity, either natural or dug out by a woodpecker
 Usually solitary, screech owls nest in a  tree cavity, either natural or dug out by a woodpecker

 

Night owl: They are strictly nocturnal, roosting during the day in their cavity nests or next to tree trunks
They are strictly nocturnal, roosting during  the day in their cavity nests or next to tree trunks

‘They are masters of disguise so you need to  have a sharp eye in order to see them,’ he said.

‘I found this one that was living in a hole  in the tree that woodpeckers usually make.

‘They are easily spooked and every slight  movement I made would scare the owl and send it back inside the hole.

‘After 30 minutes or so it would come back  out.’

An eastern screech owl camouflaged in the hollow of a tree in Georgia
An eastern screech owl camouflaged in the hollow of a tree in Georgia
  Their call is a haunting  tremolo with a descending, whinny-like quality

Eastern screech owls are about six to 10-in  tall and found throughout North America.

Despite their name, this owl doesn’t truly  screech; their call is a haunting tremolo with a descending, whinny-like  quality.

They hunt from dusk to dawn.

Attribution: Mail Online

Volcano Lightning

A lightning volcano… Mother Nature at her most awesome

Streaks of crimson lava soar hundreds of feet  into the air as an erupting volcano puts on the most spectacular of light  shows.

But Mother Nature isn’t quite finished yet.

She throws in blinding flashes of forked  lightning, which crack the red-hot sky and show just the sort of fireworks she  has at her command.

Light show: Lightning emerges from lava erupting from the Sakurajima Volcano in the Kaghoshima area of South Japan in this picture taken by German photographer Martin Rietze
Lightning emerges from lava erupting from  the Sakurajima Volcano in the Kaghoshima area of South Japan in this picture  taken by German photographer Martin Rietze
Rare: Lightning only ever strikes a volcanic eruption during heavy 'vulcanian' or 'plinian' explosions when the amount of red lava is very low
 Lightning only ever strikes a volcanic eruption  during heavy ‘vulcanian’ or ‘plinian’ explosions when the amount of red lava is  very low

This awesome display of natural power  was  captured by German photographer Martin Rietze, who waits patiently  for days in  remote locations for exactly the right explosive moment.

Scientists can’t quite explain how the phenomenon of volcano lightning occurs. They believe  electrically-charged  particles of ash disgorged during the eruption  somehow react with the  atmosphere to create the forks of clear white  light.

Mr Rietze, 45, spends his life in the  world’s volcano hotspots – travelling from Costa Rica to Italy – to  capture  the grandeur of an erupting firestorm.

This stunning photo of volcanic  lightning  striking an erupting crater was taken last month at the  Sakurajima volcano near  the southern tip of Japan.

Waiting game: Patient Mr Rietze waited days before finally capturing the lightstorm images on February 25, 2013, at around 4.50am
Patient Mr Rietze waited days before  finally capturing the lightstorm images on February 25, 2013, at around  4.50am

‘You have very few chances to catch  lightning close to an erupting volcano because it involves being very patient and waiting for many days,’ Mr Rietze said.

‘I waited around four days for Sakurajima.  Knowing that very few people have ever experienced something so beautiful gives  a very special feeling. I will never ever forget those moments surrounded by  poisonous gas, feeling the heat of the  flowing and bubbling lava and hearing noises louder than a plane taking  off.  Sometimes your body can feel the  shockwaves and the ground is  shaking.’

He shrugs off the dangers of being so  close to molten lava. ‘It’s great fun, and so unique. I have had fewer mishaps chasing eruptions than when mountain climbing,’ he said.

Drama: Volcanoes are an opening or vent in the Earth's crust. When gas and magma builds up under the surface it eventually erupts above the surface through this gap, spewing rocks, lava and ash
 Volcanoes are an opening or vent in the Earth’s  crust. When gas and magma builds up under the surface it eventually erupts above  the surface through this gap, spewing rocks, lava and ash

 

Danger: The lava can reach 1,250C and burn everything in its path. These flows are currents of hot gas and rock that reach temperatures of 1,000C and travel up to 500mph
 The lava can reach 1,250C and burn everything in  its path. These flows are currents of hot gas and rock that reach temperatures  of 1,000C and travel up to 500mph

 

Equipment: Mr Rietze shot the magnificent photos on a highly sensitive full format DSLR with a shorter (90-200mm) but very bright tele-lens
 Mr Rietze shot the magnificent photos on a  highly sensitive full format DSLR with a shorter (90-200mm) but very bright  tele-lens

A volcano is essentially an opening or vent  in the Earth’s crust. When gas and magma – the hot fluid under the surface – build up they erupt through this gap, spewing hot rocks, ash  and lava reaching  1,200C (2,192F).

But when lightning follows, it is a  different type from that seen in thunderstorms. Dr Sue Loughlin, head of volcanology at British Geological Survey, explained volcanic lightning  is  still a natural mystery.

‘Lightning typically forms as ash  particles  are charged through friction during eruption and dispersion in the atmosphere,’ she said. ‘Ice particles in the atmosphere are also  involved. But scientists  are unclear about the exact mechanisms.’

Attribution: Nick Mcdermott, Mail Online

The Stunning Zion Natural Park Subway

A stunningly beautiful canyon in Utah’s Zion  National Park has become so popular that park officials have instituted a  lottery for hikers who want to discover its untouched natural  beauty.

Down between two peaks called the North and  South Guardian Angels, the Subway’s low light is the perfect place for algae to  grow in vibrant and rich greens.

The park is issuing 80 permits a day to  hikers who want to visit the cylindrical slot canyon.

 

Subway
 The Subway is what the park calls a unique  slot canyon deep inside the Left Fork of North Creek

 

canyon
Demand for a glimpse at the canyon is  incredibly high because of its ridiculously impressive look

 

Subway
Though extremely popular the Subway appears on  no maps and must be found by experienced pathfinders
Subway
 Ice forms over a canyon stream bed at the  Subway

 

Subway
Inexperienced hikers are encouraged to  come with a friend who knows how to navigate nature as finding the path can be  difficult

 

Subway
 Hikers who wish to reach the Subway must  travel at least 9 miles, including rappelling

The lottery will only be done between peak  seasons between March and November when demand to journey to the gorgeous canyon  is at its highest.

Groups are limited to fewer than 12 people.

The subway itself is roughly a quarter mile  long, but finding your way to the canyon can be difficult.

Subway
 Once hikers reach the entrance they’ll be  treated to a quarter mile of rarely seen beauty

 

algae
Because of the canyon’s low route, the  lighting filters gently down giving the algae a rich natural green

 

algae
 Lottery tickets for the Subway will only be  given out between March and November when demand is at its peak

The hike is 9.5 miles round trip, and is more  difficult than a novice hiker should attempt on their own.

Hikers will face route finding, creeks that  need crossing, and boulders that must be scaled. ***

 
subway
 Hikers must cross boulders, swim through deep  waters, and cross creeks to reach the natural wonder

 

Subway
 Sculpted slots and canyons can be found  throughout the park but none as spectacular as the Subway

 

subway
 The canyon’s unique characteristics can  almost make one feel as if they’re walking through a painting

Because of the extensive obstacles, the park  encourages people who haven’t much experience  are encouraged to either  find an experienced hiker to go with or to make sure they have a detailed map  before they leave.

Subway
 Because heavy snow melts and spring runoff  sometimes forces the park to close the Subway to visitors

 

Subway
The park has restricted access to the canyon  to groups smaller than 12 people

 

The Subway
The Subway is carved between two peaks called the  North and South Guardian Angels

It’s even more difficult to reach The Subway  if you attempt to do it from the top down, as hikers will need to rappel on  route as well as swim through pools of cold water that will likely have debris.

But if the images that have come out are at  all accurate, the beautiful scenery is worth the hardship of reaching it.

Attribution: Daily Mail

 

Hopping On for a Ride

Two cheetahs board photographer’s 4×4 to go cruising round the Masai Mara

 

Cheetahs may be the fastest land animals in  the world, but this pair look more content riding a car.

Wildlife photographer Paolo Torchio held his  nerve as a fully-grown mother and her juvenile son hopped on to the roof of his  vehicle just feet away.

‘I was already out from the hatch, and so we  found ourselves sharing the tiny space of the roof with the two big wild cats,’  he said.

Need for speed: A mother and juvenile cheetah on the roof of a vehicle in Masai Mara, Kenya
A mother and juvenile cheetah on the  roof of a vehicle in Masai Mara, Kenya

Scary: One of the cheetahs peers down at the camera as Paolo Torchio's 4x4 drives on
One of the cheetahs peers down at the camera as  Paolo Torchio’s 4×4 drives on

‘The female was looking around using  our car  as a perfect viewpoint to spot prey or threats while her son was curiously  looking at us.

‘He was so comfortable that he used one of  the spare diesel tanks like a cushion to take a nap.’

Mr Torchio captured the images at the Masai  Mara National Reserve, Kenya, which is home to thousands of cheetahs.

This particular mother Malaika, who  like  other adults is capable of speeds approaching 70mph, is well-known  in the area  for hopping onto cars.

Mr Torchio said: 'I was already out from the hatch, and so we found ourself sharing the tiny space of the roof with the two big wild cats'
 ‘I was already out from the hatch, and  so we found ourself sharing the tiny space of the roof with the two big wild  cats’
Torchio held his nerve as a fully-grown mother and her juvenile son hopped on to the roof of his vehicle just feet away
Torchio held his nerve as a fully-grown mother and her  juvenile son hopped on to the roof of his vehicle just feet away

 

Spectacular: Wildlife photographer Paolo Torchio captured the images at the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, which is home to thousands of big cats
Wildlife photographer Paolo Torchio  captured the images at the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, which is home to  thousands of big cats

 

Mr Torchio, 52, who hails from Italy but now lives in Kenya, is well accustomed with the behavior of  cheetahs and says they are ‘very polite and friendly’ when not  disturbed.

‘Of course the emotion was high, very high,’  he added.

‘But slow movements and by keeping our voice-level low was enough not to scare them and escalate to a potentially dangerous situation.

‘Wild animals should always be treated with  full respect.’

 

Mr Torchio, 52, is well accustomed with the behaviour of cheetahs and says they are 'very polite and friendly' when not disturbed
Mr Torchio, 52, is well accustomed with the behavior of  cheetahs and says they are ‘very polite and friendly’ when not disturbed

Mr Torchio, 52, said: 'Wild animals should always be treated with full respect'
‘Wild animals should always be  treated with full respect’
The mother Malaika, who like other adults is capable of speeds approaching 70mph, is well-known in the area for hopping onto cars
The mother Malaika, who like other adults is capable of  speeds approaching 70mph, is well-known in the area for hopping onto cars

 

Settling down: The cheetahs make themselves comfortable for the ride
The cheetahs make themselves comfortable  for the ride

Attribution: Daily Mail