Thursday, October 16, 2008

Watching Paint Dry

Apparently watching a lion sleep is like watching paint dry.

This was a comment I heard from a guide while sitting with a pair of sleeping lions. I found this quite amusing as paint cannot just get up at any second, go into stalking mode and attempt to take down an unsuspecting wildebeest that happened to wander too close to it. Something we almost witnessed twice in the last week.

No, seriously. I think a lot of people take nature for granted.

Think about it. Realistically lions do sleep for around 18 hours a day so it is what they do but for a great deal of people travelling to Africa, a sleeping lion might be the only one the ever get to see in the wild. The scene will however always be filled with stories. Where did they come from? Why did they choose this spot? Why do they sleep so much? Does it look like they have had anything to eat in the last few days?

These and other questions will lead you to a place where you will better understand their world.

Do you think that National Geographic and Animal Planet get all their amazing footage by ignoring the sleeping lions and just follow the ones that are busy doing something?

When lions sleep their smell and hearing are still extremely acute and you never know when an animal might stumble into their sensual range (that make sense?). Combine that with the fact that lions are instinctive hunters will will not pass up the opportunity to have a go at anything that could possibly be a free meal.

Is it not therefore worth it to sit back, relax and become a part of their story rather then just stop, look and move on? I believe it is.

When you try to keep up with moving lions this is difficult. You are also normally so busy trying to focus on what is going to happen next that you don't always get the chance to delve a little deeper into all the information that can be shared about these amazing predators.

From a photography point of view sleeping lions are brilliant! You have the chance to position yourself, take light into account and play around with various abstracts and close up while waiting for that one moment of magic when they lift their head and yawn as they start their 'wake-up-rituals'.

During the last few weeks we have been lucky enough to spend a lot of time with lions - both sleeping and very awake. For them the difference is not as big as you may think. They can go from fast asleep to full hunting mode in a matter of minutes. Unbelievable to see!

Take the time. Watch them. Appreciate them. Share in their story. In other words... take the time to 'watch the paint dry!'

I will be back tomorrow with this week's High Five. The guys have been uploading at a furois rate this week so check in at the Photo-Africa Stock Library to see some of the new images that have been uploaded.

As always I look forward to hearing from you!

Until next time.



T and S said...

That's a class series and the first image works best for me

Michael Palmer said...

I am so ready for a cat nap now! Have a great weekend!

Owlman said...

Great shots! I love watching lions, no matter what they're doing.

Mike - Fenphotography said...

Yep niceset of shots Gerry, love the 3rd shot the male looks so playfull.