Sep 212012
 

Today’s Photo: Lonely Lion

Our junior guide, who typically stayed at the back of the group paddled up ahead and caught up to our main guide. Then, they made for the shore. It was about lunchtime and I thought that was why we were stopping. Instead, we were told to stay in our canoes and just beach them slightly. Then, we saw her, camouflaged extremely well amongst the brush, a lone lion, just 30 meters away.

We sat and watched her for a while as she sat and watched us, very casually. She’s an old lion, we were told, and had likely had to leave her pack and attempt to fend for herself. She seemed tired and had a sadness in her eyes, that I think you can see here.

After pushing off and continuing down stream our guide praised his assistant for spotting her and confessed it was a good thing as he’d planned on stopping there for our lunch break!

The Technical Bits

Camera: Canon 5d Mk II
Lens: EF 70-300mm f/2.8L USM
ISO: 100
Exposure: 1/50 at f/8

Taking the Photo: I zoomed in far as I could and made sure that I set the focus on the lioness’ eyes as she gazed back at us. I was shooting handheld as I was sitting in a canoe at the time. I shot three bracketed images but chose not to use them.

Processing: I decided not to use the bracketed images as there was too much movement in the scene, from the lion to all of the foliage around her. I tried creating an HDR image by adjusting the exposure levels in Adobe RAW, but realized that I preferred the single exposure to the output from Photomatix so just adjusted contrast in Photoshop and bumped up the detail in Topaz Adjust.

I had to make a substantial crop in order to zoom in further on the lion. As the 5d mk II uses a full frame sensor this was possible without the resulting photo being too small.

Software: Photoshop, Topaz Adjust

Lone old lioness who seemed tired and had a sadness in her eyes lying on the ground camouflaged in the brush in Zambia.

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