Sunday, June 27, 2010

Iron like a Lion

Hearing one of these beasts roar is one of the most terrifying sounds that's ever gone down my ear canal. It's such a primitive deep noise and so so loud that I can't quite comprehend how they can produce such a sound. It makes you remember that, alongside sharks and crocs, some animals on this planet are just out an out killing machines; the cumulative result of millenia of evolution with a singular purpose. They are awe inspiring animals.
I shot this image from the passenger seat of a landrover as we bounced along through the African bush in the middle of the night. I wasn't allowed to use the flash on my camera because it would've startled the cat so the ranger whom I was with drove one handed and held a spotlight with the other, training it on the lions face as we kept pace alongside it.
We were out with the sunrise the next morning, and as we rounded a corner we could see a tree shaking. It turned out to be a blue wildebeest (aka a gnuu) scratching its arse on the lower branches, but just behind it in the bushes we spotted a lioness on the stalk. My fingers were cold and I fumbled my camera that badly as she leapt out of the bushes and the wildebeest bolted -it was still on the same settings from the night before, pretty much the opposite to what I needed it on right now to capture this hunt in action. I managed to get this shot and the wildebeest lived to say another day, but ever since whenever I put my camera back in its bag I make sure I've put it back on my regular settings. Lesson learned.

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