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Lion - #4 of the BIG 5

Lion - #4 of the BIG 5
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-10-16
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Digital ISO 160
Exposure: f/4, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger NP 2009
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite African animal photos 2 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-12-09 17:18
Viewed: 6303
Points: 58
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
African Lion / Panthera leo

The lion is the 4th species I want to share with you as part of a group of animals known as the "BIG 5" animals of Africa. In my previous postings I shared the biggest of them all, the elephant, then the rhinoceros, the buffalo followed and today I add to this "BIG 5" series the so-called "King of the animals", the lion.

The BIG 5 series:
#1 The African Elephant.
#2 The White & The Black Rhinos.
#3 The Buffalo.

I normally do not fear when we drive alongside a lion or one of the other cats whenever we have the opportunity to do so. Normally, under such circumstances, the lions wouldn't pay much attention to the vehicle. With an open window one can take nice clear shots as the "impure" window glass will not cause any distortional effect on the image and one do not have to suffocate trying to breath just because you are to afraid of this wild animal right next to your vehicle. But, on this specific day, I was quite panicky and the window was closed all the way. For that reason this image is not as crystal clear as I would have liked it to be, as this shot was taken through the side window.

I am sure Loot will tell the full story of this incident when he post his images taken of the same lion, but I can just tell you in short that this guy was really worked up about another male's roar in the vicinity. He walked all around the vehicle, growling, smelling, snarling, lying down, doing all the same again, standing up, and marking the area with his urine. This continued for quite some time. I did not want to take a chance with an open window, as I was debating with myself that my reaction would not be quick enough to close the window in time if this angry lion pushed its head through the window. So rather save than sorry… You will have to wait to read about this adventurous story until when Loot does his posting of the same lion. So keep on watching the gallery! I do not know when he will be posting that specific shot, but it will be coming soon in the near future.

General Overview
A formidable reputation precedes the king of the beasts, and deservedly so. As the largest carnivore on the continent, the lion's strength and stature command respect from the entire animal kingdom. Those creatures foolhardy enough to risk an attack, such as leopards, pythons, hyaenas and wild dogs, grab only at unguarded young.

Lions make it very clear who's the boss: males stake out territory with a deafening roar that can be heard through the African night for up to 8 kilometers. But for their entire strength and powerhouse image, lions are lazy. Hanging about as family groups or prides of 3-30 individuals or as smaller bachelor gangs, they favour the cool and cover of night for hunts. They retire into long grass or the shade of trees when the sun gets too hot. Lolling about in the shade, they spend between 15-20 hours of the day inactive, resting on their sides or lying like domesticated kittens on their backs with all 4 paws dangling in the air.

Indolence is one side of the coin. The other is an intense burst of speed and aggression because, if hungry, not even the noonday sun will deter them from hunting – although another predator's kill will do just as well. Hunting most successfully in groups, the lion menu varies from young hippopotamuses to antelope, zebra and gazelles. Males normally take little part in the hunt, leaving the chase and kill to the females.

Lions have no fixed breading season. The female gives birth to 1-4 cubs after a 3-4 month gestation period. Cubs remain with their mother for 2 or more years.

Males reach a weight between 150-225kg and females between 110-152kg.

Taken from: Animals of the Kruger Park and Lowveld - Heritage Publishing.

I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

eng55, boreocypriensis, cypturk, robindb, uleko, Heaven, matatur, CeltickRanger, ramthakur, xTauruSx, horias, nglen, Noisette, tuslaw, nasokoun, meyerd, maurydv, Rehanna, Alex99, Abyta has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-12-09 22:00]

Hi Anna,
Excellent capture of this Lion.I liked use of light,expression of face,details and composition a lot.
Yes,he seems as a King.Very well done!
HAve a great day!
Thanks for posting..

Hi and Good Morning Anna,

Incredible beautiful capture of the fourth precious beauty of South Africa in a "King" style posture of the animals:).
The clarity and details are impressive, as is the focus and exposure.
TFS and have a nice day MF!



Hello Anna,
Excellent shot of this elegant looking lion.
Very impressive sharpness and lovely pose.
Tfs and regards,

really a gentle photograph of lion .

Hi Anna,

I like the regal and alert pose and the lighting on this lion. He stands out well from the background which shows the typical African grass which we know so well and compliments the picture by giving atmosphere.
A good photo for the series.



  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-12-10 0:45]

Hello Anna,
The King of Kings - and so beautiful here resting in the sunlight, and soooo close. I think I would be a bit scared too with those penetrating eyes staring at me!! A brilliant capture showing it in a lovely pose and details are pin sharp. Beautiful light and colours too!
Many thanks and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-12-10 1:03]

Hello Anna,
Superb lighting, a great POV, nice sharpess, DOF and a royal pose contribute to a fine capture of this young male lion. The eye contact is awesome! I like the composition with the tall dried grass BG too.
A fine no. 4 of the Big Five and thanks for sharing it!
Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • bedri Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 111 W: 0 N: 237] (1284)
  • [2009-12-10 1:56]

Excellent shot Anna, very good. TFS.
Best regards,

Hi Anna!

I can easily understand that you didn't feel like opening the car window. The lack of the resulting clarity and sharpness is well compensated by the expression of the lion's view and the impact created by the fact that the viewer of the picture is looking straight into the animal's eyes. This impact is well highlighted by the subtle composition that places these eyes on an interesting upper third and center of the picture. Moreover, the lightplay is very pleasant and the very detailed and elaborated notes with the pleasing narrative aspect perfect the overall fine impression of the posting.

Kind regards


The eis of this lion are terrible.I think that was preparing to attack.
Nice picture.
Best regards and greetings from Romania.

Hi Anna..
An excellent shot given the circumstances.. Me too would have liked to get a clear direct shot at him.. And the glass in between explains the blur... Nice composition ...
regards, Biju

Aaah Anna, for me this is the best of them my friend, a formal, sitting portrait of a regal animal proudly exhibiting its most prominent features among natural surroundings. Both your focusing and chosen axposure are perfect, the resulting composition superb. TFS indeed dostum!

hello Anna

an excellent photo of the KING of all animals,
with fine frontal POV, fine focus excellent sharpness
and details, with an impressive expression of his glance,



Wise of you, Anna, in taking this picture with the window glass between you and this majestic creature who sure seems to be upset about something!
This kind of eye contact brings out the true character of this "King of animals". There is no arrogance in that stare; it is sheer assertion of its immense power.
Great picture and a wonderful note that takes us on the virtual tour through Kruger Park.

Hello Anna, a superb shot of a king:). i loved your point of view.
TFS and regards,

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2009-12-10 8:20]

What a lovely face have this wonderful lion!
Great sharp details and colors.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-12-10 12:15]

Hi Anna. My first thoughts were this looks a little blue in colour but reading your notes i can understand why. So forgeting that this is a very good close up of this fine looking animal. I think you did the wise thing with the window shut. It has a look in the eyes as to say come out here and get a better picture. Its legs andfeet look so huge and powerful. well taken TFS.

Hello Anna
it was surely an intense and unforgettable moment with this lion walking around your car
the sharpness is very good for taken through the car window
i love the impressive eye contact
Have a good night

Hello Anna,
Great capture of a majestic pose,and strong glance
Well done,especially through the car's window !

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2009-12-11 20:11]

Hello Anna,
Now this is one big Kitty Cat. Amazing how massive the head is, and those hugh paws look like clubs. I would sure hate to get on his bad side.
Love the composition and soft lighting. I also like the beautiful coloring of the lion as well as it's natural surroundings. Those large penatrating eyes seem to be fixed on you as you take this photo. TFS.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-12-12 0:55]

Hello Anna,
Great photo of this lion. Very beautiful warm colours. The isolation from the BG is great. Excellent low POV and eye contact. Good sharpness and details. I also like the expression in the face.
Have a good weekend,

Ciao Anna, great capture of superb creature, it's really a king, splendid pose , excellent sharpness and fine details, very well done, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Hola Anna,

supongo que ha de ser realmente impresionante estar delate del rey (king:-)y poder hacerle una fotografía. Su simple mirada produce respeto y tú la captaste de maravilla, al igual que la luz y los colores. Lástima de la ligera trepidación que se aprecia.
Un abrazo y buen fin de semana: Josep Ignasi.

hello Anna
a beautiful scene and moment, his pose is great as this, it is a splendid animal, nice photo output!
keep photographing! TFS and thanks for your good and extremely interesting comments in my photos!

Hello Anna,
I would have been trembling taking this shot. But viewing on the camera screen the Lion may not be as menacing :-) One hell of a huge pack of muscles, and right besides your window. I caressed a free roaming but accustomed-to-man Lion male once, it caressed me back - bloodying my arm in the process. Already the predecessors of Man like Australopithecus were preoccupied with the feroceous predator.
I find that your picture has some color noise that cannot be explained by the window pane, maybe there was little light and your ISO setting on automatic?
Thanks for the great Sunday entertainment you offered me!
Best regards from under the snow,

Wow, very impressive! Great point of view and pin sharp, the colours are also very natural.
I just love those yellow mesmerising eyes, feels as if they can hypnotise you!
Exceptional photo!

Hello Anna,
a fantastic capture of the African Lion taken from an excellent frontal POV in a great posture, i like the grazing light and the gentle atmosphere, good sharpness and splendid warm colours, a very pleasing composition with a beautiful environment
Best regards

Hi Anna,

This is too good posed photo of the Lion. Very well done. Nice framing. Africa would be my dream vacation .Will surely plan it soon


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-12-20 8:06]

Hi, dear Anna.
I am very touched with your warmest comments. Your encouragement is very dear to me.

It is a very impressive photo of the wonderful lion. Its pose and look are great as well as POV and composition of the shot. I like how well you have reflected animal mood and all its wonderful features and details. Dry grass create fine surroundings and BG for it. Bravo. Well done as usual.

  • Great 
  • Abyta Silver Star Critiquer [C: 20 W: 0 N: 34] (130)
  • [2009-12-20 23:14]

Hello Anna,
Beautiful image of Africa's King. The eye contact is here, it's amazing! Incredible animal, this is my zodiac sign :).
Thank you for sharing.
Best regards,

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