3 Ways to Best Capture a Male Lion

I think we can all agree that when it comes to Africa and its big cats, there is nothing more striking and powerful as seeing a male lion out in the wild.

So what is it about these magnificent animals that is so absorbing? There are a number of reasons, but having said that, it can be difficult to capture the true essence of a male lion. I would like to share with you 3 ways to best capture a male lion, and a handful of images that I feel truly portray what a male lion is. Now, there are many different images you can take of a male lion, but how do you create a diverse portfolio of male lions? Well I have three different images for you to look to for when you are in the field. Even though it is impossible to recreate these images, you might find yourself in a similar situation and be able to capture the powerful image you are looking for.

Capturing images of them in their environment:

This goes without saying for most animals, many of us get caught up with the big lenses and always getting in close and getting as tight a shot as possible. This is a great way to photograph any animal,  but what does it help your portfolio when you have a number of close up images of the same species taken in a number of different destinations? Well, capturing images of animals in their environment doesn't only show off how strong and powerful they are but also describes the scene as the where the image was taken.

3 Ways to Best capture a male lion

3 Ways to Best capture a male lion

Using different angles:

Using angles can definitely make or break a photography. Shooting at different angles is very situational dependent. Lions spend majority of the time sleeping during the day which makes it very difficult to photograph or capture their true essence, but by being present in the moment and looking at your different options, sometimes a slight change in angle (when possible) can make the world of a difference to your image. Below you will see an image of a male lion resting, he was passed out sleeping for most of the day, but by being patient and looking for a different opportunity and angle, he allowed me a brief moment to capture this image with his eyes open. What could have been an average photograph, now becomes one of intensity and power just by using the angle and waiting for the right moment.

3 Ways to Best capture a male lion

Close ups:

Always a winner! Getting images close up and personal of these big cats always shows off just how strong, dominant and powerful these cats are. Lions are more nocturnal, and although it is more difficult to get images of them at night with regards to settings, when you do get it right, it showcases the true epitome of what a male lion is. There is something so different and unique about spending time with lions at night and a feeling that is very difficult to describe.

Close up images are a great way to tell intense stories and one thing I always try and look out for is eye contact. You will see in the final image, the eye contact draws in the viewer and gives one a very humbling feeling when locking eyes with such a powerful and magnificent animal.

Not only with lions, but with all your photography, it is important to try and think outside the box, not just to get stuck with one type of image because you enjoy it and you are good at it, but to stretch and even leave your comfort zone in search of creating new images and finding new ways to showcase or highlight your subject, in doing this, you will create a nice diverse portfolio for yourself.

Until next time,


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