Lion black and white fine art portrait

Africa Live 2017 – 01 | Back in the Mara, home away from home.

Hi guys and gals.

Finally here, sat down ready to share our adventures out in the Masai Mara. For reference I am now back in the UK and retrospectively updating the blog day by day. The internet out in the bush was very slow and I decided to put conserving my energy and sleep ahead of wrestling the internet in the dead of night so I can be at full steam for the guests.

Well here on the first day I am working solo to get my eye in with good friend and top (top!) guide Charles putting his eagle eyes to good use as well as Camp manager and squirrel lover extraordinaire Darren giving his new SLR a workout.

Buzzing with the excitement at seeing old friends and being back in one of my favourite places on this planet we zoom out of camp. That weird smell which is a combination of Mara dust, suncream, and various animal whiffs as well as the all too familiar bumping around in the seat gets me right back where I left off last year and we are off! I have the rockstar combination of the Nikon D500 and AF-S 80-400 lens alongside my D800 and wide lenses, just the best setup you could want out on safari in the Mara.

Charles and Darren were musing how the Lion populations were huge at the moment and before long we came across this pair.

On their own, somewhat detached from the pride Charles noted they are probably mating. Not my most striking images, but interesting behaviour to see by any standards….

Lions on the plains.. Africa Live photo blog from the Masai Mara by wildlife photographer Richard Costin.

Well they certainly look in the mood for romance…


Mating Lions. Africa Live photo blog from the Masai Mara by wildlife photographer Richard Costin.

It wasn’t long before she made the move and he started to look interested.

For those of you who have never seen Lions mating, it is an odd combination of comedy, intimidation and speed shall we say. They can mate off and on for several days and by the looks of it were were a day or two in as they really weren’t giving it their all by this stage.

Mating Lions. Africa Live photo blog from the Masai Mara by wildlife photographer Richard Costin.

Courting lions. Africa Live photo blog from the Masai Mara by wildlife photographer Richard Costin.

Decorum wasn’t on the table today.

Courting Lions. Africa Live photo blog from the Masai Mara by wildlife photographer Richard Costin.

Mating Lions. Africa Live photo blog from the Masai Mara by wildlife photographer Richard Costin.

Lion resting after mating. Richard Costin Wildlife Photography Africa Live photo diary.

A few sessions later and clearly exhausted they both slumped down a small distance from each other. By this time we thought it best to make a move and leave them to relax.

The sun was now slowly descending, softening up the landscape and creating some of that drama I like.

Cloud formation. Africa Live photo blog from the Masai Mara by wildlife photographer Richard Costin.

I shall be getting back in touch with Charles for an ID on this chap. It’s totally slipped my mind! Thanks Ruth, yes it’s the Three-Banded Plover!


Lilac Breasted Roller bird. Africa Live photo blog from the Masai Mara by wildlife photographer Richard Costin.

The first attempt of the great annual Lilac Breasted Roller stalking championships. More from this legendary chap in later blog entries.


Giraff neck. Africa Live photo blog from the Masai Mara by wildlife photographer Richard Costin.

As we roamed the plains the light was really starting to warm up.


Leopard footprint. Africa Live photo blog from the Masai Mara by wildlife photographer Richard Costin.

Charles stopped and pointed this Leopard pugmark to us. Not very fresh, made when the ground was wet some time ago.

Regular reader will know I have been upping my black and white game and I am keenly on the lookout for underexposure options when the cats are sat in interesting, dappled light areas.

Black and white Lion portrait. Africa Live photo blog from the Masai Mara by wildlife photographer Richard Costin.

Trying out the Nikon D500 and AF-S 80-400 super combo and getting in nice and close all hand held.

Waiting for this chap’s head to be in just the right place and making sure my camera was seeing things as I wanted I managed to snap a nice portrait. This one will definitely be heading into the limited signed editions area soon, wonderful dappled side light….

Lion portrait. Africa Live photo blog from the Masai Mara by wildlife photographer Richard Costin.

Then after a reasonably sedate but wonderfully enjoyable game drive we had our sundowners, snapped a few Thompson’s on the horizon and made our way back for dinner.

Thompson's Gazzelle at sunset. Africa Live photo blog from the Masai Mara by wildlife photographer Richard Costin.

Until next time folks!

Rich.

 

BIG CAT PHOTO SAFARIS

Fancy seeing all this for yourself? Join Richard out in the world famous Masai Mara.
Improve your photography, field craft and digital workflow out in the wild at a luxury camp away from the crowds in a private conservancy.

FIND OUT MORE
Wildlife photography workshop. Africa big cats in the marai mara, Kenya.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *