Behind the Frame – Basic Lion Portrait

Gerry van der Walt All Authors Leave a Comment



Nikon D3s, 300mm, 1/400, f/2.8m ISO 500

Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


With the advances of imaging technology and the amount of wildlife images we get bombarded with on a daily basis through platforms like Facebook and Twitter we sometimes get carried away with trying something new or creating images that stand out.  


I would like to believe that there is still something to be said for a good, solid wildlife image.  No fancy things.  No panning motion or advanced layers and editing.  Just a pure wildlife image.


This lion portrait, taken on a cloudy day in the Madikwe Game Reserve, is a good example of going back to basics.  The face, and specifically the eyes that are wide open, are sharp and in focus.  The face has been placed on a dynamic point in the frame and the repetition of the two legs, forming diagonal lines leading up to the face all work together to create an image that works.  


From a processing point of view I only bumped the contrast a little bit, due to the overcast light we had on the day and I added a very soft vignette.  I don’t normally like vignette, and I think many photographers mess up great wildlife images by adding strong vignettes to their images but there definitely is a use for them.  In this case I felt that a very soft vignette, almost not noticeable, will add to the intimacy of the portrait and help to keep my viewer’s gaze in the middle of the frame.


Yip, just a good, solid wildlife image.


Until next time.


Gerry van der Walt


* * *  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *