In the past six years, Luke has raised two families with sisters Shera and Nababiep. I’ve enjoyed these babies and now they’ve grown and moved on to other zoos to continue the Luke’s DNA lineage. Lionesses can conceive every two years, so perhaps 2017 may be the next year when a new family can arrive for Luke.
In the meantime, Luke has been separated from his leading ladies and is turned out into the exhibit to rest and warm up in the sun in blissful solitude. I’m sure his peace and quiet will change should a new family arrive in the future.
It was a warm morning when I arrived and Luke was luxuriating in the sunny early spring day. He stretched out on the ground and looked with one eye right at me. A perfect connection captured.
And here is when Art in Nature appears. This perfect moment between the King of the Savannah and I and it deserved to be expressed in a way that showed the emotion felt.
With the original image show below, I brought it into Lightroom for exposure and contrast editing before moving it to Photoshop to add a texture layer using the Screen option. I then transferred it to Topaz Impressions to give it a softened painterly look at a reduced opacity.
May lion and tiger babies appear soon at the zoo!