Behind the Frame – Kalahari Lion

Gerry van der Walt All Authors Leave a Comment



Canon EOS 1D MK IV, 600mm, 1/500, f/5,6 ISO 1000

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa


It is a well known fact that early mornings provide some of the best light for photography. You will often hear photographers talk about the golden hours which come just after sunrise and use before sunset and I can’t think of many places in South Africa where this incredible light is more evident than in the Kgalagadi Transfronteir Park (on the border between South Africa, Namibia & Botswana). 


The hide in front of the Nossob camp provides excellent opportunities for photographers to try their hand at capturing backlit images of a variety of game that come through to drink there in the mornings as the hide faces due east and the sun is usually directly behind subjects as they approach the waterhole. 


As one of the members of a large pride of lion walked off to the north of the waterhole, I waited for her to turn and look back at the pride before capturing the moment. I underexposed by 1/3 of a stop to capture the golden rim lighting around the body and paws, and was forced to push the ISO up to 1000 in order to give me a fast enough shutter speed needed to eliminate any camera shake. This technique works well when trying to capture dust kicked up by animals such as buffalo as they approach a waterhole in the late afternoon.


Andrew Beck


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