It was not my intention to choose this many lion images for this weeks High Five, even though it would have been quite easy since I have been searching for, and obsessing about, the Kgala males the entire week.
It just so happend that included in the hundred plus images uploaded to Photo-Africa this week there were many brilliant pictures of lions. This week features eight images again of which four are of lions. So here goes with the fifth Weekly High Five.
Image 1 - Lion Silhouette by Andrew Fullerton
The only thing that I would change in this image would be to place the lion further to the left of the frame. When shooting an image like this it is always difficult to get the image nice and dark without burning out the sky. It might require the photographer to under expose the image slightly which, in this case, was done perfectly.
* * *
Image 2 - Double Lion by Quintin Janse van Vuuren
A lion image with that little bit of extra. The mane that is blowing in the wind gives the image a slight dynamic feel and gives you an idea of what the moment must have been when the image was captured. For me that is one of the things that will make one wildlife image stand out above another - making your viewer feel like they were there. Great image of one of the Kgala males.
Something different - a perfect close up of a pink rose. The photographer pulled this one off brilliantly by keeping the image focused and very sharp in the centre and then fades it out towards the edge of the frame. Whether by very clever cropping or good in camera framing, the rose petals close to frame in the image rounds it off very well and draws the viewers eye to the centre of the image. Great macro.
Even though the sky is burnt out a little, this image still works. The two lions are obviously resting in the sun but the image captures the power of these beautiful males perfectly. The fact that the two manes are touching also creates a nice bond between the lions which is true for real life as well when looking at the behavioural patterns of a coalition such as this. Awesome animals.
Have you ever tried taking a 'decent' image of the moon? It is not all that easy and the above image pulls it off perfectly. Capturing the slight colour variations and even the sharpness in the craters makes this a very good image. I also like that it is not a completely full moon and leaves a slight bit of the moon out of the scene - a full moon would almost have been too cliché.
One of Africa's most beautiful and graceful raptors captured perfectly.
To capture any bird in flight takes a great bit of luck or a great deal of skill. If I could change anything in the aboce image it would be to extract a small bit of detail from the left wing (which is totally black). Other than that a great bird image.
* * *
This is not an image you can plan. It is clicking the shutter at the correct time and allowing nature to complete the process. This image shows why wildlife photography is not always about planning and trying to get everything in the frame perfectly in focus and sharp. Yes - luck is a part of what we do! There is an element of 'wild' in this and the fact that both lions are blurred gives you a feel for the action that was taking place at that precise moment. This is an image I would expect to see in a wildlife book or magazine. Amazing wildlife image!
* * *
Image 8 - Lonely Tree by Gavin Tonkinson
On the other side of the scale. This is an image that the photographer planned. You could sit at the same tree for five days and never get the opportunity to capture this image again. The diagonal foreground starts the image very nicely and allows the tree to lead your eyes up the branches and to thge beautiful clouds in the sky. In a previous Blog I mentioned Wildlife & Nature photgraphy in the same sentence as Fine Art Photography. This images is one of those which I will use should I have to create an argument that it IS possible to create Fine Art from Wildlife & Nature images. Great image and my pick for this week.