To be frank, I don’t really enjoy photographing lions. They are the laziest animals around, always sleeping, always snoozing and useless for any decent photography.
The problem is that every person who has ever been to Africa has a photo of a lion, well actually many photos of lion, even if they had only one sighting!
I’ve often wondered which lion is the most photographed, as in with a model. In certain National parks, a sleeping lion can cause traffic jams of over 20 vehicles with 4 cameras in each, snapping off enough photos to make a model on a Parisian catwalk smile! The results? You guessed it: sleeping lions. Of course I was once like that too, but looking at all the other good lion images out there, I was always aware of what the standard of photography was.I now have a decent collection of lion images- some of them actually doing things.., but when I head out into the bush, Lions aren’t exactly on the top of my agenda, cause I know there are so many good images out there.
Deception valley in the Central Kalahari is a different kind of place. For most parts of the year, it is a dry dust bowl with nothing much around. Some animals and birds, but nothing compared to the late rainy months: Which exactly where I was on a photo tour in early March. And what a tour it was- the Kalahari was at its most beautiful; with short grass attracting herds of animals and birds displaying and lions everywhere,literally.
Speaking of lions, we actually witnessed some brilliant Lion behaviour.
We had two male lions in a brawl, chasing each other across the grassy fields, roaring and scent marking right next to our vehicles. Anamazing experience to say the least!
That evening we found 8 lions just in front of our camp and the next morning we found them in the grassy valley 2km from camp. We picked them up just before sunrise. They were not quiet ready for doing nothing, in fact they were quite active and full of beans, just what photographers look for.
For the next 20 minutes, as the sun glowed through the clouds, the lions played, ran and fought on the open valley floor. It was photographic bliss and one of the few times where lions go from party poopers to front of house entertainers, deluxe.
A Parisian model would have been taught a lesson or two here. I suppose it makes up for all the times we watch lions sleeping on the road.
The law of averages was at play.
Just be out there.
Nikon D200 - 200-400mm, 1,4 convertor
Exposure - f 6,3 Shutter Speed: 1/500sec
Exp. Comp. 0 EV
ISO equiv. - 250
Flash sync- not attached, Exposure mode- Aperture priority, Metering Mode- Matrix, File type- NEF (RAW)
Focal length: 560mm (840mm, 35mm eqivalent), Tripod