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Serengeti, Tanzania 2019

When I took this photograph at around 7.30 am in the kopjes of the Serengeti, I was not overcome with adrenalin. The large male lion was totally aware of my presence, but indifferent to me. In the Serengeti, lions and cameramen coexist and the big cat’s daily routine is dominated by sleep - not by terrorising cameramen.

When I reviewed the few images I took that day, I felt it had something to make it a little more special. It is probably its simplicity, after all, it has just two ingredients - lion and rock. Less is often more in photography - and I have always favoured a reductive approach. It was not a demanding photograph to take, we just needed to put in the hours to find a lion in the right place. Sometimes it is simply leveraging the commitment of time.

The Serengeti is the lion capital of the world - probably more than 4% of the total lion population of Africa live in the Singita Grumeti/ Serengeti ecosystem. The enormous rock boulders or “kopjes" that define all but the northern section are the perfect backdrop to photograph lion - much more so than say woodland or indeed the plains. When Disney’s new blockbuster - The Lion King - is released next month, I suspect that there will be many scenes of lions on rocks. In many ways it is the backdrop that defines a lion and that is why this photograph has something.

Available sizes (Framed size)

Large: 71" x 87" (180 cm x 221 cm)
Standard: 52" x 63" (132 cm x 160 cm)

Available editions

Large: Edition of 12
Standard: Edition of 12