Untamed Images Blog

    Adventures in Nature Photography

    Browsing Posts tagged courtship

    A Pair of Kings

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    A pair of king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) preen side-by-side as part of their courtship ritual. These were but two of approximately 500,000 birds found in and around the king penguin breeding colony at Saint Andrews Bay on South Georgia Island.

    Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM at 232 mm, 1/320 sec at f/5.6, ISO 400

    Far too much time has passed since I last posted to this blog. The reasons surrounding my absence have been both good and bad. The bad: in early 2014 I was dealing with a health issue that forced me to limit my time at the keyboard. The good: beginning in August of last year, with my health improving, Alison and I began a whirlwind of travel in which we undertook three separate international trips, totaling roughly eleven weeks out of the country. The trips were outstanding and I was presented with (almost) too many photo opportunities!

    It will take some serious effort for me to select all my favorites from the trips, but I must start somewhere, and I feel the image featured above will hold its own among the best. The photo was taken on our most recent journey — one in which we explored the Southern Ocean on a Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris expedition, with the M/V Ortelius serving as our home base for 25 days. I hope to share many more images in the weeks and months to come via blog updates and brand new image galleries, and I invite you to join me as a regular visitor. As always, I welcome your feedback via the Comments section here, or via email.

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    The Royal Couple

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    A lion and lioness relax at dawn among the grasses of the Olare Orok Conservancy in Southwestern Kenya.


    Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM +1.4x at 280 mm, 1/200 sec at f/4, ISO 400

    I am currently working my way through a ridiculous number of images that I took on a recent trip to Africa, but because I am confident that the image of the lion couple shown above will make the final cut, I wanted to share it right away. I have to give a large measure of credit to our expert guide from Kicheche Bush Camp for making this photograph a reality. This particular guide, whose name is Nampaso, understands the needs of the wildlife photographer perhaps better than any guide I have ever worked with in Africa.

    We set out one morning a few minutes before dawn and Nampaso immediately began urgently scouting the area near camp for an interesting subject, knowing that I would want to take advantage of the sweet light occurring in the first minutes after sunrise. Within fifteen minutes he had located a pair of lions that we assumed were involved in courtship since they had separated themselves from the rest of their pride. As the sun crept above the horizon, Nampaso positioned the vehicle such that the lions were dramatically backlit. I captured this image of the lions in a quiet moment, but before long they returned to the business of mating, which lions are known to do up to forty times a day!

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