I remember one of the very first “recommendations” I was given for photography is to shoot with the sun behind me. This was perhaps sound advice for amateurs in the film days, but there are so many wonderful effects one can achieve with backlighting and side lighting to add more drama and atmosphere to an image. Nowadays in the digital era it is so easy to have immediate feedback of what angles are working and which ones aren’t thanks to the LCD screen and there are no worries about wasting precious film.
On this particular morning in the Mara, the setting was perfect to get a backlit image. For those who are not familiar with the term a backlit image is when the light source is behind the subject you want to photograph. The sun was just rising somewhere behind the lion and it was illuminating the edges of this lion’s mane and paws beautifully, creating a subtle “glow” around it. This is one of the possible aims for this kind of photography. Apparently even the lion thought this was good portrait material and looked straight into my lens for his shot to be taken. Don’t want to disappoint the king now do I?
Techs: Canon 5D Mark 3 | Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4X @400mm | f4 | 1/400 | ISO 640