South Africa, 2022
56” x 79” Unframed 71” x 94” Framed Edition of 12
37” x 52” Unframed 52” x 67” Framed Edition of 12
Over the years, I have marginally tweaked my approach to filming lions at Kevin Richardson’s sanctuary in South Africa. Lying flat in my cage in the grasses, I now accept that in their winter, at first light, I am going to get dirty and cold. I want to shoot 20 degrees either side of the rising sun to get some backlight without too much flair. The key variable for me, however, is for there to be a real sense of engagement and that does mean that we need to work close and put full faith in both Kevin and the sturdiness of his cages.
Immersive photography of big cats is not a high percentage game, and we accept that we fail more often than we succeed. The upside is, when everything does work, especially with a handsome male lion like Yame, the rewards are high.
I would be the first to say that in photographs such as this, the credits go to Kevin, the lion and the high- performance camera. I come in equal fourth with the laundry service.
~ David Yarrow