More On Creating A Photograph With Emotional Impact

January 31, 2010

Photo Tips, Wildlife

I really enjoyed Judy Host’s post about creating a photograph with emotional impact. Judy’s picture caught my eye – and got me thinking about a photograph that I had removed from my wildlife photography presentation. It’s the photo below.

I removed it because some of the audience members were “grossed out” at how the lions were devouring the baby elephant, which had been killed the previous night. As you can see, the lions have their head and parts of their body inside the body of the elephant.

Well, thanks to Judy, the picture is now back in my safari show – along with pretty pictures such as the one that leads off this post. Both pictures help to tell the story of the circle of life.

Explore the light – and create pictures with impact.


This post was written by:

- who has written 171 posts on The Digital Photo Experience.

Canon Explorer of Light Rick Sammon has published 36 books, including Exploring the Light and Digital Photography Secrets.

When asked about his photo specialty, Rick says, “My specialty is not specializing.”

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5 Responses to “More On Creating A Photograph With Emotional Impact”

  1. Dan Milham Says:

    The impact is the thing we take photographs to achieve. Judy and you are absolutely correct. The reaction will vary greatly but without it your photograph is just shapes on a space.


  2. Colleen Says:

    Yes, it is gross, but like you say – it’s a reality that tells the story. It’s the story of life, death, survival all wrapped in one. I occasionally have the opportunity to see a caribou carcass being fed on by wolves in Denali National Park. Some of the tourists in my groups are grossed out and actually upset that they had to witness such a thing, but most understand that it’s how the wolves survive, and feel privileged to have witnessed such a sight. Thanks for the photo.


  3. Buddy Eleazer Says:

    OK, I like what you are saying on the circle of life. I have ‘struggled’ with the value of some of my shots from safari of animals on a kill (red chins of lions, crocs scavenging a cape buffalo kill, etc.). At I have chosen to focus on images with drama, but not gore and avoiding the full ‘circle of life’ unless a) composition quality was really there and/or b) it is needed to tell the story. While journalisticly (sp) interesting, for me, your lions on the elie probably fit only when ‘telling the story’.

    I cannot find the Judy Host article you reference. Can you provide a link?


  4. Bernie Says:

    It certainly has impact and it is an emotional one. It also begs the question, where were you at the time of the shoot? Looks pretty close to some hungry lions to me.


  5. Rick Sammon Says:

    I was in a Jeep not too far from the lions. I actually wanted to get closer, but the driver was not allowed off the road – which I respect.



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