Finally, after 10 years, a lion stands!

Discussion in 'Disney's Animal Kingdom Photos' started by zackiedawg, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. zackiedawg

    zackiedawg Member Staff Member

    Yep...nearly 10 years of Animal Kingdom...and those lions are sleeping. Up on top of the rock. Sometimes just a paw visible. Or the top of a mane. Sometimes, even a head is visible. On very rare occasions, he's sitting upright with his head fully visible. On the rarest of occasions, they're actually UP...standing or walking.

    Now, play the odds. What are the chances of the lion standing while you happen to be passing by? Pretty long odds for a beast that sleeps 20+ hours a day, and a moving vehicle mostly obstructed by high foliage and pretty hefty distance to the lions' rock mount (to hide all the moat work and fencing that keeps Mr. Lion away from a truck full of lunch). Now, throw in the odds that you happen to have your camera with you. The right one. With the right lens. Those odds grow exponentially.

    Now throw in your timing and location. Sure...all the other odds came in, and there you sit in your safari truck within visibility of a standing lion. Are you ready to take the shot? Are you on the correct side of the truck? Does the truck happen to be positioned where there is no foliage or landscaping blocking your view? Is your camera on? Did you bring batteries?

    Wow...if you made it through all those, do not walk, to get a lottery might be hot today! But wait, there's more. Throw in that wonderful Florida variable - weather! That enclosure is often in the the light where you need it? Can you get enough shutter speed to shoot the lion without blur from a moving vehicle? Is it a cloudy day?

    Needless to say, for 10 years, one of those variables wasn't right for me...because I've never been able to snag a photo of a standing least one that isn't a blurry mess with a tree trunk in the center of the shot and a head in the bottom right of the frame.

    This last trip...finally...most of the variables lined up and came up aces. Not all of them, mind you...the light was awfully low at a little after 6pm. So I had to push higher ISO to get enough shutter speed (pretty much 1/500 or better is needed from the moving truck of a moving animal).'s the best I've managed so far with these big cats at AK:



    And finally, I can say in answer to my cynical and joking friends and relatives...YES...THE LIONS ARE REAL, NOT ANIMATRONIC! :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  2. PolynesianMedic

    PolynesianMedic Global Moderator Staff Member

    Nice catch!
  3. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    i have never seen those lazy bums do anything but lie there, if i even get that much.
  4. zackiedawg

    zackiedawg Member Staff Member

    Thanks Polynesian and Tim.

    That was always even our joke - that they were just animatronics lions...programmed to make little movements to make people think they were real.

    I know one thing...I'm going to try getting on the last safari trucks again next time, and see if this was just a lucky fluke or if maybe the fact that it was close to closing time (and therefore feeding time) that had the lions up.

    In 10 years, I've gotten dozens of shots of a small patch of orange-brown fur peeking out from a big rock with weeds in the way.

    Even the driver was pretty excited - she drives through there how many times a day, and seeing the lions up even had her excited, which tells you how often they're up!

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