Behind the Shot: Lord of the Savanna

Hi everyone, it’s Week 2 of the Outdoor Photography Guide Photo Challenge. This week, our challenge is shooting at night.

To get everyone in the mood, here’s a recent night photo I took while photographing with fellow Outdoor Photography Guide team member Zac Mills in the Masai Mara of Kenya. We found a male lion just before sunset; he had been resting during the heat of the day, so we hoped he would get active after the sun went down. As the sky darkened into twilight, we got out a spotlight to illuminate the lion, and got lucky when he suddenly got up and gave us a ferocious looking yawn. I underexposed the image by setting my exposure compensation to -3, which helped make the sky look darker and rendered the landscape surrounding the spot-lit lion in total silhouette.

Lord-of-the-Savanna
Canon 1DXII, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 3200, f/3.2, 1/50 second.

Night photography takes equal parts planning, practice, patience, and caffeine. I look forward to seeing your night photos. Good luck!

P.S. If you haven’t joined the Photo Challenge yet, there are still plenty of upcoming challenges designed to supercharge your creative vision. You can learn more here.

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About the author: World-renowned professional photographer and Tamron Image Master Ian Plant is a frequent contributor to several leading photo magazines and the author of numerous books and instructional videos. You can see more of Ian’s work at www.ianplant.com.

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