Leaping Lion, Tanzania

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


We spotted the lioness in the treetop and stopped to take some photographs not knowing that the male lion was hiding in the deep grass beneath the tree. After a while she started to call for him so we realized, there might be some good chance to see another lion. With my Sony A1 I was able to capture the male lion jumping up the tree and this frame shows the sheer power and majesty of the animal.
Any comments appreciated!

Technical Details

Sony A1
FE 70-200mm GM II @ 98mm
ISO 1000, 1/000s. f/9


Wow, Holger! You really captured the defining moment of all that muscle power as the male leaped into the tree! I spotted the lioness above before I read your description - good call on your guide’s part to stop and wait to see if you might see her more, and then serendipity struck! I also love your position so that the two trees echo each other without running into each other visually! Lucky separation, we don’t always get to be in the perfect spot when in a safari jeep with others. It was the perfect framing!

Capturing the right moment actually was made possible by the Sony A1 with its 30 fps shooting capability which gave me plenty of frames to choose from (in this case more than 200…)
To get the right separation between the trees I had to ask our guide to back up the car for a couple of feet from the position where we originally stopped, but there was no other car around so changing position was easy enough!

Holger, what a wonderful moment in the life of these magnificant animals. It looks like the male is headed the “wrong” direction, but maybe he wants some “me” time even though the lady called for him. The way you filled the top of the frame with the tree is so perfect. I hope you don’t mind my downloading this and seeing if darkening it just a bit would make it pop even more. Using the Tony Kuyper TK9 luminositymasks I was able to very quickly darken the sky, the grass and the lions . The changes are subtle. I would take more time and also darken the smaller tree. Holger you have a wonderful moment that deserves to be on a wall. Here is a screen shot of my edit.
TK 9 luminosity masks
Reworked by darkening the scene just a little.

This is wonderful!! We’ve all drooled over images of big cats in trees but I’ve never seen a capture of one climbing up! Fabulous!!

Holger: what an absolutely fabulous capture. The strength of the lion is on full display as it climbs the tree. Then the lioness becomes evident as you survey the image and the scene is perfectly composed. It’s a wall hanger. Congrats!

Love the way the background tree imitates the foreground tree. This is a real compelling image!

Perfect that you had the space to back up and get in a better position for the trees then! And yes, I have the A1 and it’s amazingly fast fps…

A stunning frame captured in a masterly manner !
And @Barbara_Djordjevic did a fine job, reprocessing the image.

Cheers :heavy_heart_exclamation: