I recently returned from a safari in the Masai Mara which I hosted alongside Michael Laubscher. We had an incredible safari with plenty of action and a few stand out sightings with one in particular that I want to share with all of you.
This particular sighting I am going to talk about will go down as one of my best lion sightings I have EVER had. It wasn't the best from an action point of view, it felt like so much more than that. What stands out for me was the scene as it was absolutely breath taking. We found a whole pride of lion in the morning, pretty late on and I must add, this meant that they were already seeking out shade to rest as the heat began to set in.
We left camp that afternoon and decided to check the river to see if there was any build ups of wildebeest and zebra. As we were driving along the river, there didn't seem to be much happening, having said that, we had a bit of rainfall and the afternoon clouds were starting to form. With that in mind and nothing happening at the river we made a team decision to head back to the lion from the morning to see if we could get anything with them and the dramatic sky that was starting to form.
On arrival back at the pride, majority of them were lying in the thickets, the sun was just starting to be swallowed up by the surrounding clouds. Just to let you all picture what we were looking at - there was a massive clearing situated on a gradual hill, there were pockets of this vegetation, which is where majority of the pride was sleeping. The potential was clear, the skies were getting darker and becoming this incredible blue color, our hopes were that the pride would emerge from the thickets out into the clearing. Now it became a patience game. We sat patiently waiting, taking test shots, making sure that our settings were always correct as the light changed constantly. Finally, one by one the lions started to lick, groom and stretch before coming out into the clearing. The scene was set, we were parked below the lions with what can only be described as an incredible sky behind them, now all we needed was for them to get up and walk towards us, I know, not asking much at all;).
When it comes to wildlife photography, a large part to a successful photograph is predicting animal movement and trying to visualize the shot before it happens. This way, you are always prepared for the moment of magic when it happens, this includes composition and settings.
Below I have inserted 6 images, each unique and each one visualized from the moment we came across the scene. I think thats what makes the photographs have that much more meaning. To me this wasn't just another day on safari, it was one incredible afternoon where the plan was executed and left all of our guests with some pretty special images of a day I am sure we will all remember for a long time to come!
Mike and I recorded a Podcast/IGTV segment on this sighting and how each photo is unique, if you wish to view it CLICK HERE.
Until next time,