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Lion Portrait



Savuti, Okavango Delta, Botswana, Africa. Topaz Studio was used to accent the fur.

Savuti, Okavango Delta, Botswana, Africa. Topaz Studio was used to accent the fur.
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5 Comments | Report
RachelKey
 
RachelKey August 25, 2018
I absolutely Love this shot, Beautiful!!!!
almatyana
 
almatyana September 14, 2018
Wow... great shot
DaisyButtercup PRO+
 
DaisyButtercup September 14, 2018
So intense! Absolutely fantastic!
Jekawrig PRO+
 
Jekawrig September 17, 2018
Thank you all for your kind comments.
dannyboyfraser Ultimate
 
dannyboyfraser August 27, 2019
Nice portrait of lion

Behind The Lens

Location
The photo was taken on our second day on safari. The previous day we experienced this pride chowing down on a water buffalo kill. We went back to their area the next morning and found all 9 lions lounging around with still full stomachs. It was about 8:00 am with light overcast lighting. Perfect for portraits with the yellow grass in the background. We were able to get quite close to the pride in our Landcruiser/Tacoma pickup vehicle. Much closer than I thought would be possible. They were probably 15 - 20 yards or a couple of lion-leaps from us. But by the second day we learned to trust our very experienced guide. Besides, they were full and our guide said the pride didn't see a big square vehicle as a meal. Our close proximity made for some fantastic portrait shots.
Time
The shot was taken in the morning about 8:00 am.
Lighting
The sky was light overcast lighting. As I mentioned, it was perfect for portraits.
Equipment
The photo was shot with a Canon 7D Mk II and a Sigma 150-600 telephoto resting on a bean bag from our open Landcruiser equipped with built-in bean bag rests.
Inspiration
One of the best parts of wildlife photography for me is the eye contact with the animals. I feel a connection with the subject while sharing gazes. This young male kept looking at me in his semi-interested composure. I could tell he was comfortable in the pride. He hadn't needed to worry yet about other males and fighting for a pride of his own. Plus, all the mommas did all the hunting for the pride.
Editing
The only post-prossing I did was crop out his sister and a little saturation.
In my camera bag
For wildlife, I normally carry two bodies - a Canon 7D Mk II and a 5D Mk III. I usually only bring two lenses - 150-600mm and a 70-200 F4. That's about it. I like to travel light. On safari Instead of the full frame body, I brought my Canon mirrorless M6 with a full compliment of lenses. They take up very little space and are light weight. I primarily kept a wide angle lens on the mirrorless for those "closeup" elephant shots.
Feedback
The shot was taken in May in the Okavango Delta in Botswana Africa. There is a sweet spot between the rainy season in the first few months of the year and the floods in June. There is plenty of water for the wildlife, but too cool for mosquitos and snakes. I find it is best to bring lots of memory and batteries. Shooting in burst mode gives me plenty of shots to choose the most interesting and sharpest photos.

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