Our ‘sneering’ lion (Panthera leo – Shona: shumba; Ndebele: isilwane) is actually taking a defensive position using its olfactory faculties, sneering or snarling to communicate its feelings. His open mouth enhances smell as he takes up a position on a termite mound. The lion uses about 15 visual patterns (involving face, tail and body posture); a dozen distinct vocal calls; olfactory signals and contact patterns when communicating. To make their signals effective and plain to observe, lions have distinguishable contrasts about their eyes, ears, lips and tail… take the eyes with their white underline, and the tail with its black tuft, as examples. This cat calmed down, once it realised its dominance in the environment. It was a brief signalling encounter.
(Canon EOS 5D Mark III/EF70-200mm IS USM; 1/1,000 sec; f/2.8; ISO 640; 200mm)
Picture ©2014 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography
Anne Geddes is a New Zealand based photographer, clothing designer and businesswomen, known for her infant photography and stylised images of children as fairies, small animals and flowers. She has authored several books on her work.
“I think that emotional content is an image’s most important element, regardless of the photographic technique. Much of the work I see these days lacks the emotional impact to draw a reaction from viewers, or remain in their hearts.”
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Stuck in darkest Africa, lost in the wild and loving it! Don’t let me out of here…