Dinokeng, South Africa 2017
It is integral to my approach to photography to see focus as the variable that can never be compromised. This probably hints at my beginnings as a sports photographer. The shorter the distance between subject and camera, the more skill and precision is required. Think of cows close to a train window as against cows in the distance.
There is no room for error at all in the taking of the image – especially when using a lens like a 20mm – if the focus is an inch behind or ahead of the subject’s eye, the image will lose its “wow factor”. I won’t print it. Even with a reasonable motor drive, this is a low percentage approach.
I miss most often by being early but also sometimes by being marginally late. However, when it works, the results can be sensational. This image of Emma – a lioness within Kevin Richardson’s sanctuary – speaks for itself. I don’t need to comment on the detail in her face – it’s there for all to see.
There is more information in this portrait then any other lioness shot I have taken in my life. It is as simple as that. I think the big print is about life size and it is immensely powerful. What a magnificent cat and not a bad image as well.