Wild Times with the Lions

The more time I spend doing wildlife photography the more I enjoy it – even when it is at the Zoo. Photographing animals in the Zoo is not as romantic or as exciting as an expedition to the Okavango Delta or the Serengeti, but it is still quite challenging and a lot of fun. The real trick with photographing wildlife regardless of wether the animals are in a Zoo or in the wild is trying to capture a special or unique moment with them. Most of the time they just lie around and frankly make for very boring photographs.

Wildlife photography in my experience is a combination of patience and luck (not necessarily in that order). You can increase your chances by shooting at times of the day when the animals are most active, by ensuring you are in the right sort of locations and of course having your camera at the ready. Ultimately however, you need a little bit of luck and just a lot of patience. Although this photograph looks as though it was taken somewhere in Africa, it was in fact taken at the Melbourne Zoo. A good trick to bare in mind when photographing animals in cages is to press your lens hard up against the wire and use a wide open aperture – this will throw the wire or bars completely out of focus and will make them disappear from the shot as is the case here. I used a 300mm F2.8L Image Stabilised lens hand held and wide open, pushed up against the wire fence for this photograph. A disagreement had broken out between the lions which ignited a brief brawl lasting only a few seconds. I had my camera ready and was lucky enough to be in the right location to capture the scene. Out of the half dozen frames I took this is my favourite. Its a unique moment between four male lions.


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