charlesray PRO+

Lion cubs

Lion cubs

Lion cubs
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4 Comments | Report
SuzyJK1 July 10, 2013
Great shot!
vesipenkova July 12, 2013
Great shot!
merv1948 August 04, 2013
Even as cubs they are majestic animals ! Good one !!
charlesray PRO+
charlesray April 15, 2015
Thanks to all who commented! Sorry for not acknowledging you earlier, but I'm usually busy out taking pictures.

Behind The Lens

This photo was taken at a place called Antelope Park, in Gweru, Zimbabwe. It's a facility where young lions that have been freed from captivity are prepared to be returned to the wild.
This shot was done in mid-morning.
Natural lighting. The sun wasn't too high and the surrounding trees cast just enough shadow to give good color saturation.
The camera used was a Canon PowerShot SX10IS, handheld without flash or filter. A flash might've spooked these two who were only about ten feet from me when I took the picture. I also didn't use a filter, wanting instead to get the natural light. The only post processing was a slight increase in contrast to make sure the animals' bodies stood out from the similarly colored grass in the background. I had the camera set on auto and focused on their bodies, which caused the background to be a bit blurry, which was just the effect that I wanted.
My wife, my secretary and I were just coming back from a visit to the town of Gweru in Zimbabwe (I was US ambassador to the country at the time), and decided to spend two days at Antelope Park to see the reintroduction to the wild program and some of their other conservation projects. They invited us the first morning there to go for a 'Walk with the Lions,' which I did with some trepidation. These two female cubs are 16 months old, but as large as a small Shetland pony, with some pretty sharp fangs and claws. They are accustomed, though, to walking with humans, and were more curious about each other than us - they'd been fed before the walk. Like other felines their age--but, much larger--they like to play, and I was impressed with how they interacted with each other. This is one of many photos I took that morning, and is one of my favorites. My all-time favorite, though, is the one showing one of them up in a tree, draped over a limb, putting to rest the old myth that lions don't climb trees.
As I said before, I increased the contrast a tad. Nothing else. In this case, because I was close enough to frame it the way I wanted on the camera screen, I didn't even have to crop it.
In my camera bag
Back then, the only thing I carried when I was on the road was my camera and a notebook to record interesting impressions. Now, though, I carry two or three cameras (a Canon EOS Rebel T5, the Canon PowerShot, and a Fujifilm Finepix S6800), a tripod, two lenses for the Rebel (18-55mm and 75-300mm), a remote shutter release, a CPS filter and a UV filter, chargers and extra batteries, dessicant packs in the bag to keep equipment dry, and a pen and pad for taking notes
This wasn't a true wildlife shot, in that the lions were under limited control by an experienced handler. They could still be dangerous, though, if they were startled or mishandled. I only got close when the handler said it was okay to do so. In the wild, in addition to not disturbing the animals by getting too close, you are safer to keep your distance. Even animals that don't normally attack will fight if cornered or they feel threatened in any way. In addition to keeping a close eye on your surroundings (for snakes, holes, roots, etc.) you need to be ready to shoot at a moment's notice. And, don't be afraid to take lots and lots of photos. One of the reasons I bought the Canon Rebel was the ability to shoot many shots in rapid succession in auto mode. In fact, as I write this, I'm reminded that another thing that should be in your bag is a few extra cards in case you fill one up before you have a chance to download.

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