Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 08/03/2011

Reflections of the minds eye.

Blimey, where did that come from! If you don’t know the title of today’s blog, which I thought quite apt for the photo, I’m paraphrasing a full length novel that was released based on the characters in Star Wars and which was published after the film had been released in 1977. You can read more about it here.

As I’ve said before, I don’t use any editing software on my photos these days (perhaps I need to) and today’s photo has not been cropped in any way, showing the snout and left eye of a rather large battle scarred male Asiatic Lion.

Smaller than it’s African cousin but still of considerable size and aggression, this photo was taken towards the end of the day with the creature sprawled out on the floor of it’s enclosure. Using the 600mm lens, which has a minimum focusing distance of 5.5m, I had to stand well back from the cage before my kit would focus on the Lion. With most of the animal’s head hidden and it’s eyes closed, there seemed little photographic opportunities, but possible due to the sound of my camera shutter firing or someone in the crowd less than a meter away from this regal animal, it half opened it’s eye and I immediately saw the shot I wanted to get, if only it would open it’s eye fully. I fired off another couple of shots, and I then realised I was certainly the focus of it’s attention as indeed it was mine; I was glad there was a sturdy barrier between the two of us. It’s very daunting when a creature of such power and ferocity has you in it’s gaze, even if you are safe, in fact it’s incredibly humbling.

When reviewing the photos later, I noticed an added bonus, the reflection of the cage in the lions eye. A metaphor perhaps, an allegory. Nope, it’s just a plain old photo of a caged creature…. but then who isn’t (Ed. we’ll have none of that pretentious stuff here, next we’ll be anthropomorphising… “won’t we Mr Lion“… “Yes Mr Andy, we will… growl“…. enough now, Ed.)


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