Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 23/10/2012


Asiatic Lion, originally uploaded by

Isn’t he? Gorgeous as well. You’ve seen other images of this young lion cub before, taken during my recent (or not so recent) visit to London Zoo, this individual was the only who was even half awake, and that included me, when I was there photographing. The cub, along with the rest of it’s family, were sheltered out of the direct sunlight. This can often be a problem for photographers, as images lack the “pop” that makes for a great picture – however with the dappled light filtering through foliage directly over the lion’s head I saw an opportunity for some creative lighting, without the need for lamps, stands, reflectors, backdrops – the kit that I take out to photograph wildlife is heavy enough already without adding the extra equipment!

I have thought it would be good if I could combine high key photography, such as is the fashion in studio work at the moment, with wildlife photography, in fact the last time I visited Dartmoor Zoo I took all my studio kit so that if rain did stop play we could have retired to the Jaguar Cafe where their insect and reptile collections are kept. Unfortunately the rain kept away enough so I wasn’t able to explore this unorthodox approach to wildlife photography. It’s been a good while since I was down with the good people of Dartmoor Zoo.. I think I need a return visit soon.

* To paraphrase Pop Larking out of The Darling Buds of May.



  1. Flicker emailed me your latest & I saw this earlier this morning.
    I am in love with some many of your series, but this one & the lion
    with a grown mane (older picture)
    takes my breath away. Your capture really shows her soul! I’ve had the opportunity to play with a lion (A rescue) & cubs & needless to say it is my favorite day of my life!

    Maybe you could sell me a copy? You have a great life surrounded by such beauty & the best part is you share that with us!

    Best Dish17 (flicker name)

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