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Photo Information
Copyright: Rob Nicholls (nixpix) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 67 W: 26 N: 121] (444)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2003-05-10
Camera: Canon D60, Canon EF 300mm f2.8 USM IS
Exposure: f/4, 1/250 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2005-07-28 4:41
Viewed: 5245
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I encountered this dark maned male lion in the area of the Thornybush Game Reserve (in Mpumalanga South Africa) just as I was leaving the reserve. Thornybush is an outstanding game rich reserve located next to the Kruger Park. Serious big five country and the guides know where to find the game and share their extenxsive bush knowledge well. Game drives are taken on open four wheel drive vehicles so you get a feeling of intimacy at sightings.

Male lions in areas like this (where they frequently come into contact with vehicles) are seldom disturbed by the vehicles and usually pay them no attention at all. I think this individual was possibly following a trail of some sort and irritated by my presence. He crouched down in the grass as if to hide from me. I sensed his discomfort and as I was about to leave him in peace he grumbled, stood up and wandered off into the thick bush.

Photographing big game, even in game rich areas, has a lot to do with luck and being in the right time at the right place. Knowledgable guides can improve your chances dramatically. Early mornings and late afternoon are the best times for big cats as they are most active at this these cooler times of daylight.

One advantage with this scene was that the road my vehicle was on was lower then the lion's position. This combined with the fact that I was shooting with a fairly long lens enabled me to get an eye level shot. Eye level enhances the stature and power of images of these beasts. Sometimes if one is too close the angle shooting down can make the game look insignificant and it is better to back up a distance before taking your shots. This way the game are also less intimidated.

The shot is not perfect but has an atmosphere that I enjoyed. The light areas behind the lion and the grass in front are a little distracting but in some way add to the mood. The sharpness of most of the facial areas is forgiving and helps contrast from the distractions. I was probably about 10 metres from him when I took the shot.

sway, chiliu, hummingbird24, dew77, wallhalla15, marhowie, klemmg, AdrianW, mrvdm1 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To thistle: Tanixpix 1 07-29 02:42
To japie: Dankie Japienixpix 1 07-28 09:23
To manulvu: Thanksnixpix 1 07-28 08:36
To cafecrem: Thanksnixpix 1 07-28 06:32
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Critiques [Translate]

Hey Rob,

Another great photo man. The branches in front of the lion work well. It looks like he's about to pounce on you. Well done

  • Great 
  • sway Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 305 W: 85 N: 319] (1276)
  • [2005-07-28 5:25]

Wow. I love your shot.
I like the teeth and the expression on the lions face.
I also like your POV, looking through the grass.

Hi there,
great shot!! nicely done given the unpredictability of these BIG cats..
thanks 4 sharing.

Hi Rob!
What an amazing Kitty!
Just wonderful photo - great moment and wonderful eyes!

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2005-07-28 6:45]
  • [+]

Well, next time I have to releave myself in the bush, I will feel these eyes staring at me from behind - things will never be the same again :)

This is a stunning composition, with excellent sharpness and loads of impact.

Very well done and thanks for posting

Hi Rob,
Great shot this wildnature scene, good sharpness and details.

  • Great 
  • moemf Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 105 W: 0 N: 160] (703)
  • [2005-07-28 9:46]

Great shot!! Lovely POV and detail. I really like the intensity of the shot, the focus in the eyes and the raw power. You captured this well!

Thank you for posting.

Hello Rob,

This is an impressive capture, that works well with the distractions that you mentioned.
(Try imagining this same shot without them...)

The composition has an air of excitement and intrigue, that it would not otherwise contain because of these distractions, IMHO.

Great job and note, thank you.

Rob, this is a great photo. Great colours, sharpness excellent, a very nice composite. TFS

great picture Rob. It is always easy to say what bothers about a picture, but animals do not pose unfortunately. I think it is a fantastic picture. TFS.


Another superb capture!
At first I thought that the blurred FG may be disturbing, but you set the focus so perfectly that along with this POV it makes great whole. The FG became quite important and interesting part of the photo.
I like the tight framing as well.
Overall, excellent and exceptional capture.
I like it very much.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-07-29 3:52]

Hello Rob!
Excellent portrait.Clear eyes,expression on face,POV and composition are perfect.TFS...:-)

The expression here is priceless Rob! Great details, sharpness and light. The grass foreground is only slightly distracting with that great look on the lions face captivating the viewer at once. Well done!

  • Great 
  • klemmg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 302 W: 40 N: 484] (1719)
  • [2005-07-29 13:39]

FG, low POV, strong tele that "flattens the canvas", and earthy colour scheme all come together to create a picture reminiscent of a painting, and a beautifully expressive portrait too. The detail in the variously coloured fur and hair is amazing and with the branches infront adds to the brush-stroke appearance. Very well done!

Great POV with the grass and capture of the facial expression.
Thanks for sharing :-)

Really great shot. A cool portrait of the King of the jungle. It shows the power of this animal...excellent.

You've certainly captured him very well here...a really wonderful photo. It's interesting to read your note to see how you managed this angle of shot. Very well done.

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