Whilst working on a new photobook about Africa’s wildcats I stumbled across this picture. Of course I recall the picture, but when I placed it in the book I felt like I was really only seeing it for the first time. I have traditionally overlooked this shot in favour of the more obviously stunning close up shots like ‘I have seen tomorrow’ and ‘Intention,’ but when reviewing this image more intensely last night I grew to love the intensity of the lion’s gaze and was drawn to notice the slightly bedraggled look he has, courtesy of his juvenile mane.
If you ponder on the image for a while, the initial quizzical look of the lion is replaced by a dawning realisation that the gaze is held with a sturdiness and regard for the photographer which is second only to his thoughts of where lunch is coming from. There is danger in the eyes of the lion, but one that’s tempered by his juvenile looks and stance. He lacks the anger and raw passion as demonstrated in ‘Intention’ but you are left with no doubt that this lion is a force to be reckoned with – a truly wild animal.
This image was taken with the Canon EOS 30D at 300mm using a Canon Lens, at ISO 200 and F/5.4 in the Olare Orok Conservancy, Kenya.