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As some of you may recall, I headed off to Kenya for a couple of weeks at the beginning of this month, which means I've actually been back now just over a week, and I thought it was time to take a break from wading through the folders of photos I returned with and resurface just long enough to say “Hi!” and show you the first of a number to follow!

While I've got your attention: for anyone that may have written to me since I left, please note that I will get back to you ASAP; I've been working non-stop on pictures and related matters and I've yet to begin tackling the mini-mountain of personal mail that came in during my absence. With your patience and understanding, I will try to get back to you soon as I can.

As is evidenced by most of the images in my portfolio, a large part of my photography style is close-up, and one reason for this is it's much easier for viewers on the internet to see more fully the expressions I endeavour to capture of my chosen subjects, showing something of their personality, when blown up in this way than it is when the subject is set smaller in the frame.

Another reason for this is that much of my work is with captive animals, and panning out makes very little sense as often the confines of an enclosure are constructed of manmade materials, which doesn't lend at all well to creating an image where all one wants to see is the animal and perhaps at least something reminiscent of natural habitat.

So, even though I was as always keen on getting as close to my subjects as possible, I took as much advantage as I could of creating so-called animal-scapes during my two weeks driving around the Masai Mara, and this is one of my favourites.

Early in the morning of my second day, we came across a small pride of lions that had just finished off the better part of a buffalo they must have felled around first light. There was a mother and her four youngsters, I'd guess about 14-16 months of age, chasing each other around using the discarded tail of the buffalo as children might play with a stolen hat. But far more telling of things we'd missed was this magnificent male; as he moved off in another direction he was walking with a very pronounced limp seemed to be in a great deal of pain, most likely caused by an injury that occurred while taking down their large bovine prey.

Although he didn't make a sound when he turned back and faced into the wind, the pose of his upturned head and expression is certainly suggestive of the discomfort he was feeling. He stood like that for a while as if the steady breeze was offering some sort of relief, momentarily having the pain gone with the wind. Another aspect of this frame that appeals to me is that one can just make out the colour and form of some grazing antelope in the distance, seemingly completely oblivious to the action and drama that had been playing out in the foreground not too long ago.

Thank you for taking an interest and looking forward to sharing with you more of the images I returned with in the weeks to come!

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