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Proud father

Proud father
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-07-31
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Nikon D70, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital JPEG
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): annick vanderschelden's favourites, CeltickRanger's favorite African animal photos [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-04-24 11:17
Viewed: 6267
Points: 58
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Almost on the end of a walking trail through a game reserve on the border of the Kruger NP we heard very close by the roaring of a lion. Our armed guide was suddenly very attentive. A few minutes later we walked through the exit of the reserve. And there, behind the gauze, we saw the whole lion family. Father and, a few metres further, mother and three cubs hidden in the high grasses. I made some photos through the gauze. This is the father of the family.

The lion (Panthera leo) is a member of the family Felidae and one of four big cats in the genus Panthera. With exceptionally large males exceeding 250 kg in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Wild lions currently exist in sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia with a critically endangered remnant population in northwest India, having disappeared from North Africa, the Middle East, and western Asia in historic times. Until the late Pleistocene (about 10,000 years ago), the lion was the most widespread large land mammal beside humans. They were found in most of Africa, much of Eurasia from western Europe to India, and the Bering land bridge and, in the Americas, from the Yukon to Peru.

Lions live for approximately 10–14 years in the wild, while in captivity they can live over 20 years. They typically inhabit savanna and grassland, although they may take to bush and forest. Lions are unusually social compared to other cats. A pride of lions consists of related females and offspring and a small number of adult males. Groups of female lions typically hunt together, preying mostly on large ungulates. The lion is an apex and keystone predator, although they will resort to scavenging if the opportunity arises. While lions, in general, do not selectively hunt humans, some have been known to become man-eaters and seek human prey.

The lion is a vulnerable species, having seen a possibly irreversible population decline of 30 to 50% over the past two decades in its African range; populations are untenable outside designated reserves and national parks. Although the cause of the decline is not well understood, habitat loss and conflicts with humans are currently the greatest causes of concern. Lions have been kept in menageries since Roman times and have been a key species sought after and exhibited in zoos the world over since the late eighteenth century. Zoos are cooperating worldwide in breeding programs for the endangered Asiatic subspecies.

Visually, the male is highly distinctive and is easily recognized by its mane. The head of the male lion is one of the most widely recognized animal symbols in human culture. It has been depicted extensively in literature, in sculptures, in paintings, on national flags, and in contemporary films and literature.

The lioness has been recognized, however, as the pinnacle of hunting prowess from the earliest of human writings and graphic representations. The lionesses are the hunters for their pride and execute their skills with precision and complex teamwork. Each lioness develops specific skills for her role in the hunting techniques used by her pride and, generally, assumes that role during most hunts. Members of human cultures living among lions in natural habitats have understood this characteristic and often have chosen the lioness to represent their most ferocious war deities and warriors, often naming their male rulers as her "son". Examples drawn from the earliest of written records include the Egyptian pantheon deities of Sekhmet, Bast, Menhit, and Tefnut and these deities may have had precursors in Nubia and Lybia. Other Egyptian deities are quite complex and assume aspects that may include one as a lioness headed human or a lioness in specific roles. Depictions of lions hunting in groups have existed from the Upper Paleolithic period, with carvings and paintings from the Lascaux and Chauvet Caves.

vanderschelden, gracious, nglen, rousettus, Luis52, loot, jaycee, CeltickRanger, NinaM, Adanac, Miss_Piggy, Dis. Ac., SelenE, gannu, boreocypriensis, Jamesp, jusninasirun, earthtraveler, hester, Alex99, marhowie has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Great image, Peter.
Wow.. a close encounter indeed.
I do like the monochromatic colors.
Well done

Hello Sir,
Many thanks for sharing this proud-looking king that with a pride!
the image is real fine in closeup, sharpness, good colour and the superb details in it
also your useful and informative notes, much appreciated, Peter!
greeting from NZ

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-04-24 12:17]

Hi Peter. He looks a very bold looking animal and a bit old looking to. but as you say in your notes he has some young cubs so he canot be to old. A great POV in this head on shot. with good natural colours and detail.
well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2008-04-24 12:58]

hi Peter,
quelle gueule ! voilà une image qui ne ressemble a aucune autre. Superbe posture tranquille, une image de seigneur.


Hello Peter,
great capture of pride father in natural habitat and colors. POV/OOF and composition great. Nicely focused and presented. Thanks for sharing, best wishes my friend

Impressive shot, I like his passific attitude and face point of view,
excellent post my friend,

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-04-24 14:35]

Hola Peter.
Hermosa foto de este "Rey de la Selva" Muy bella imagen. exelente pose y gran calidad fofografica.
Saludos Peter.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-04-24 15:09]

Hi Peter,

This portrait leaves no doubt that this lion is king! His eyes are wonderful - I think they are what makes him looks so old. Must have been wonderful seeing the entire family so closeup. I love the face just above the tall dried grass. He is definitely looking out for his clan.


hello Peter

you did a superb shot of the King of the Animals,
very fine POV and DOF, beautiful luminosity of the image,
great sharpness and details, TFS alot,


  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-04-24 17:17]

Superb encounter, lucky you, to see such a beautiful and noble animal. The light is superb, the colours natural and smooth, thank you for showing the roaring beauty of the steppes.


  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-04-24 19:55]

Hello Peter,
Splendid image of a great encounter. The colors are truly incredible and the sharpness is superb. Thank you Peter.

Hallo Peter,

Indrukwekkende foto van deze leeuw.
Parchtig van kleur en zeer goed van scherpte, hij kleurt het zelfde als zijn omgeving.


  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-04-24 23:54]

Hi Peter,
Lovely portrait of this big boy. I liked the lighting, color tones and composition. TFS
Best wishes,

Hallo Peter
This is such a majestic animal. A wonderful capture of this male lion in its natural environment. This lion looks very dominant and healthy. The mix of beauty, power and royal characteristics is remarkable. He is after all the king of the animals. Very well framed and presented. Thanks for sharing, and have an enjoyable day. Enjoyed reading your note.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-04-25 1:08]

Very impressive image of this Lion, Peter!
This guy has one hell of a look on his face :-)
Great sharpness and detail.
Lovely warm lighting and tones.
Must have been an amazing experience! I've only seen a Lion in a zoo but to see one in the wild would be so exhilarating!
Very fine work Peter!


  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-04-25 4:19]

Hello peter, From the photo the big fella looks like very calm. But in reality not so. I think you were too close to the object. Excellent take. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-04-25 4:50]

Hi Peter,
Wonderful shot of this royal animal and a great encounter with it in the wild and on its domain. Fantastic eye contact and the expression on its face is so scary. Seems to be well camouflaged among the dried grasses and you did well to pick it up on time. Very sharp image with perfect lighting. Excellent POV and composition. Kudos.

Hello Peter,
Superb shot of this paternal male lion with lovely details.
Splendid composition my friend!
Many thanks and best regards,


  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-04-25 10:32]

Hi Peter
this is very good image
very good sharp and detail
very well done.

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2008-04-25 11:17]

hello Peter
wonderful portrait photo and nice pose
POV, colours, sharpness and details are great

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-04-25 14:01]

Hi Peter

Great shot - wonderful composition with great detail and eye contact.


Hello Peter. Nice expression of the proud male with pleasant lighting and clarity. The dry grass creates excellent perspective in this composition. Well done and thanks for sharing. Jusni

Hi Peter, What a find in the tall grass! Must have got your heart pumpng. Fine shot of this stately Lion at home in the wild. Beautiful facial details, fine lighting, and DOF. Nicely composed. Well done. Tfs Richard

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-04-27 6:24]

Hi Peter

What a majestic animal. I love the expression and the eye contact. The light is well handled and it is sharp and well composed



  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-04-29 10:34]

Hello Peter

Excellent POV and DOF on this shot.
The natural setting is wonderful.
The focus is sharp with lovely details.
Excellent eye contact.
A lovely relaxed pose.


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-05-04 4:41]

Hi Peter.
This portrait is really amazing. You managed to catch a wonderful specimen at so attractive state of mood. Title of the picture is great and reflects the subject perfectly. Bravo. Well done.

Hi Peter,
Everything looks great. Sharp detail and just the right DOF isolating this big boy in the frame. Well composed with natural color and good exposure. And the direct frontal POV lets us see this proud fathers face famously :)
Well done,

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-03-18 22:05]

Hi Peter,
this shot is really classic one. Seeing it emerged from the tall brown grasses is a beautiful harmony. It gives such an artistic view with a strong graphic.
Until i forget that the lion is a very wild animal.
Well presented in excellent composition.


Hello Peter,
What an atitude! Showing his Power. Excellent POV.
I think Timbavati doesn't allow self drive. I prefer self drive in Kruger. Already booked 15 days in December from Olifant to Border of Zimbabwe; Northern Kruger. Timbavati is in Central area.
Excellent photograph.
Thanks and best regards,
Have a nice Week,

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