This was one of those days where the events in nature played of like it was rehearsed, lions attacking kudu wile drinking, elephants came into drink and then chased lions away and kudu stood up and almost got away. In short that was what happened. We literally pulled up on the dam wall and the lions was busy killing the kudu in the mud. You could really feel the intensity in the air as the kudu was struggling to get up but just didn’t have the strength to fight the lions and the mud.
We could see the lions were tired as well as only one female tried to pin the kudu down at the end. It was one of those sightings where something in you just want the kudu to die and stop suffering. The constant bellowing of the kudu when the lions bit into his side and belly was enough to make the hair on the nape of your neck rise up. Everytime he bellowed the elephants on the other side of the dam wall raised there trunks in curiosity to find out was on the other side of the dam. As the elephants moved in to the water’s edge the lions was very indecisive on should they stay or go.
Eventually the elephants moved around and chased the lions of the kudu , that was when the kudu stood up , but he was to weak and fell over and died on the spot. Many of the elephants moved in together in almost single file next to one another as if they were saying ” Sorry old chap wish we could have done more for you “
The insert below you will also see at http://www.wild-eye.co.za/photochat/behind-the-frame-13-june-2012/ It is a weekly insert from Gerry at Wild Eye to share other photohraphers and their work This specific sighting I didn’t share with guests but a very good friend and fellow photographer and I do believe you should go and shoot for yourself as well when you have the opportunity.
Being out in the field everyday and getting new shots everyday I am extremely lucky to have that window of opportunity. When you are out with clients/guests you want to try and give them the best experience photography wise you can. So going out on your own and with mates let you share and learn in a different and good way.
We went out not knowing what we will photograph that afternoon and pulled up on the dam wall seeing the lions struggling with something big in the mud that was when this whole chain of events happened. So firstly position the vehicle in the best way you can and what made it difficult was the distance and the angle we were on but you make the best of it and start shooting. Sharing info on settings and composition on what will the animal do next and questions like where do you think should we position the vehicle?
I decided to go with ISO 500 because of the movement the whole time, F8,0 because we didn’t have a back ground to blur out really. When the elephants pulled up It was difficult composing the shot so you can see the lions, kudu and elephants in one shots. By composing it in a certain way you can tell the whole story in one shot. We had very harsh light to work with as well bit the color of the cats and the mud worked well with the underexposure of a third. These sightings are great for for sharing on a blog platform and I feel it is important to share these sightings with fellow photographers and nature lovers. It was one of those sightings that you will never forget and treasure the memory for always.