Wildlife videographers and photographers spend endless days zigzagging their way through unforgiving terrain in search of wildlife and spectacular scenes. For these creatives, a scene of a lion standing in the middle of the arid savannah tells a story. They figure out unique ways of photographing and filming predators and try to tackle techniques that haven’t been tried before. It’s about keeping up to date with trends, but adding your own flavour to each moment documented. Some photographer’s images are as unique as a fingerprint – they might be purveyors of moody moments or enjoy saturating their images or even thrive on the abstract. Each photographer constantly learns and invests in new equipment to take them to bigger, better places.
Today we share a few of Kevin MacLaughlin’s black and white images of big cats and wild dogs and marvel at the magnificence of both subject and creativity.
Lions are easier to photograph than their cat counterparts. Lions spend up to 20 hours a day sleeping and ten to gorge themselves after a meal, to a point where they can no longer move. Even their breathing slows down. When a pride is tracked to their kill site, they will be there for quite some time. This provides sufficient enough time to get abstract and artistic with lighting, shadows and angles. Even the lone individuals and coalitions tend to swagger slowly through
Leopards are agile, quick and elusive. They’re tricky subjects to photograph because they move with such stealth and ease through the savannah. As soon as you spot one, they retreat. Leopards – like lions – sleep during the heat of the day, but they tend to select the tops of trees for nap time. During this still period of time, visibility can be tricky. Gnarled branches and twisted leaves tend to block the view! Leopards do relax on ground level, or on slightly elevated areas (they enjoy scanning the bush for potential prey) which does make the subject easier to photograph. Capturing images of leopards just requires quick thinking and patience!
Wild dogs canter and trot through the bushveld, and they’re generally quite excitable. Photographing the dogs trotting and leaping always makes for rewarding results! African wild dogs are a rare and nomadic species, so any sighting or image of them is always much needed in your portfolio. If they’re on the move, they move quickly. When relaxing they flop about around waterholes, under trees and getting good visual of them is always reliable – they move in packs, which means there are ample opportunities to photograph individuals.