Behind the Frame – After the Kill

Gerry van der Walt All Authors Leave a Comment

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After the Kill

Nikon D300, 200mm, 1/250, f/3.5, ISO 200

Madikwe Game Reserve


I have never been a fan of the gory ‘blood and guts’ type images of predators feeding on their prey.  


The chase?  The moment contact is made?  Absolutely but the images with blood and intestines everywhere just doesn’t do it for me.  


More than two years ago we were in the Madikwe Game Reserve and we heard on the game drive radio that a pride of eight lions just pulled down a zebra not so far from where we were.  We arrived literally two minutes after they had finished killing their prey and proceeded to watch the pride fight about who is gonna get what.  


The sighting lasted about an hour and during this entire time I was trying to pick of image that will tell the story of the kill without having to resort to the standard lion with head buried in zebra images or predator with intestines hanging from it’s mouth.


This young male was one of the first to dig in and as the rest of the pride were fighting over the kill he moved a few meters away and laid down to catch his breath.  He paused to look at us and that’s when I clicked the shutter to create a very different, almost macabre portrait of a lion.


If anything, and this is being really picky, it would have been great to have a very subtle reference of the zebra stripes in the foreground but this was not possible due to the amount of lions still feeding but this in itsefl adds to the story.  


To me the image tells the story that we witnessed without having to resort to showing the prey.  A story of the circle of life in Africa.


Until next time.


Gerry van der Walt


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