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Scar Face

Scar Face
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-02-19
Categories: Mammals, Savannah
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 170-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO Ultra DG, Digital ISO 400, UV 86mm Kenko
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Great cats - Grandes felinos, Mammals of Southern Africa, Felidae of the world: First series, Animal Portraits II, Lions, Mammals of Africa, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park 1, A study in Mammalogy (mammals) 1, Wild Cats [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-02-22 13:09
Viewed: 10236
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
LionPanthera leo

Old "Scar Face" was photographed at the dry Thoboti riverbed, ±1.5km north of Sikwezele mountain, in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park.

It was sheer luck that I spotted him as only his ears were sticking out above the grass on the side of the river bed. I had to veer of the road to get a clear shot. I was definitively not going to let the opportunity slip through my fingers without having a good shootout with this guy as we do not see lions that often in the park. He was so close that even the tics on his ears looked scary.

Now, I am sure everybody are saying, "Shame, what happened to his face?" For the answer to that question you will have to view my next posting for the continued saga of old "Scar Face".

**Note: Please view the workshop as well for additional information and a closer look at the damage sustained by this male lion.

It was late afternoon on a heavy overcast day causing the absence of shades.


The largest of Africa's three 'big cats' and unmistakable. Body colour ranges from pale tawny to reddish-grey, with paler under parts. The tail is short-haired with the same colour as the body, but the tip is dark brown to black. Only adult males carry manes of long hair, extending form the sides of the face on to the neck, shoulders and chest. Mane ranges from pale tawny to black in colour. Males are noticeably larger than females.

Occurred very widely in Africa, but now has a patchy distribution south of the Sahara. Most viable populations are restricted to the larger savanna conservation areas. An isolated population is located in the Gir Forest, north western India.

Some large populations still exist, such as in the Kruger National Park, South Africa with about 2 000 animals, and in the Serengeti/Masai Mara system where there are approximately 3 000. However, they are generally in decline, particularly outside established conservation areas, and the total is possibly less than 50 000.

Very wide tolerance, from desert fringes to woodland and fairly open grasslands.

The most sociable large cat, living in prides of between 3-30 individuals. Pride size is largely dictated by prey availability and varies from region to region. The social groupings are complex, with each composed of a relatively stable core of related females, their dependent offspring, and usually a 'coalition' of two, or more, adult males. In some circumstances a single male may hold tenure over a pride.

Due to the lack of available space this "Note" continues in the follow-up posting, "The Domination Factor", and it contains more information on Behaviour, Food, and Reproduction.

Source: "Field Guide to the larger Mammals of Africa" by Chris & Tilde Stuart, Struik Publishers.

Camera settings
ISO setting – 400
Aperture – f/5.6
Shutter speed – 1/125
Focal length – 372mm

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0

Janice, jossim, hummingbird24, SkyF, odin, Dyker, oscarromulus, Miss_Piggy, Rehanna, betsie has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

these cat shots in the wild are beginning to look like they are tame...but i know how hard sometimes it is to get a cracking good cameo like this...
its iconic and shows the lifestyle of the male pride head and the effort he needs to put in to keeping his place
great shot..

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-02-22 14:23]
  • [+]

Oh, he's had a few battles hasn't he? So those are tics on his ears.
Excellent capture Loot, you must have been thrilled with this shot. So sharp and clear, well done.
I'll be back to see the next posting!

  • Great 
  • reina Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 257 W: 1 N: 330] (2032)
  • [2006-02-22 14:43]
  • [+]

Good capture Loot, Im still a sissy cant look to long as this. Hope the posting that follows is not to heavy. But its good for the preperation I have to admit. Thanks for sharing Reina

  • Great 
  • chiliu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1457 W: 0 N: 1176] (6526)
  • [2006-02-22 14:51]

Hi Loot,
Excellent lighting and perfect exposure,
great composition with nice POV,
and good contrast between subject and dark background.
Thanks for sharing!

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-02-22 22:01]

Une surprenante prise Loot!

J'espère que cette histoire va bien finir.

À demain


Well he doesn't look tame to me...Looks like he fought before and wouldn't think twice about fighting again. You get close enough to take these pictures and I'll enjoy them from here! Wonderful sharp photo. I'm more and more impressed with the pictures I see on TN taken with the new Canon 350. They are sharp without being harsh and colors are rich without being glaring... if you know what I mean. I know a lot depends on lens and pp but I am beginning to see enough to generalize. I wish the camera had a brighter LCD panel. Are you able to check on your photos outside? I'd think in sunlight one wouldn't be able to see much. My digital cameras of course have an electronic viewfinder and I can check them there...and can't see much outside in the LCD.

Hello Loot,

No time for a proper critique, just wanted to touch base and give a deserved :-)

Life can be hard, and often times we wear the marks.

Great job!


  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-02-23 12:40]

Looks like this lion has seen many battles, Scar face fits him perfect. Nice sharp details and good colors.

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-02-23 14:58]

Hello Loot , good picture from this old lion , good details colours lovely ,thanks greetings Teunie .

  • Great 
  • odin Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 177 W: 1 N: 209] (1169)
  • [2006-03-13 8:16]

Hi Loot, The series are very interesting. I like to see the suffuring of this big boy. This is not love, but survive. The lion have to get some pain to make his genetic stay in the circle of life. This is the trut of nature, not a zoo life. Have a great time, went shooting wild life action.


I took the liberty to save, into my personal files, 4 of these images of yours. They are MAGNIFICIENT.

I saw a program on CNN TV that stated ... the penis of the
lion has "BARBS", like hooks, that hurt the lioness during the mating process; however,
these barbs provoke ovulation. Hence, the female snarls at the mate immediately at the end of copulation.


Most of the TN members have no idea want pain & dangers
you have been flirting to bring these superb creations




Best of the best to you & your loved ones.


Hi Loot
Wys jou - hierdie foto is so duidelik dat mens al die bosluise en vliee kan sien op hierdie leeu. Op afstand lyk hulle altyd so sag soos beertjies, maar jy het hier mooi vasgevang hoe rof hierdie diere eintlik is en hoeveel beserings hulle eintlik opdoen. Dit beeld die rowwe manier van oorlewing in die natuur so mooi uit. Mooi foto Loot

Hello Loot

Die honde is versorg en die kinders is by die skool so nou is dit ek en TN vir so 'n rukkie.

Hierdie ou lyk maar oes. Mens sou nie juis kon dink dit is 'n leeu wat besig is om 'n sogenaamde genotlike tydjie te ondervind nie. Bebloed, beangs, beduiweld en beluisd is seker hoe hierdie ou voel. Jy het egter die waarheid van die oomblik goed vasgevang. Die donker agtergrond maak die portret mooi uitstaan.


Hallo Loot
Lovely close up of this beautiful animal. I like the way you have captured this one from the side, giving us a side view of the face to appreciate. Although scarred this is a beautiful portrait of the king, and I think the scars adds more than authority to this animal. Superb details and clarity with good facial characteristics captured. These are impressive animals and this is a great photograph! Thanks for sharing.

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