National Geographic Magazine Celebrates Its 120th Birthday
I went to meet the scientist, but the scientist didn't show up. His assistant showed up, and then his assistant said I couldn't do anything because the scientist was gone. It seemed like a wasted day, almost. Sort of discouraged, my assistant and I were driving back and a big storm started to boil across the Kalahari in the late afternoon. And the sky started to turn black and the wind started to blow. And of course, a photographer loves bad weather—I mean, bad weather almost always gives you better pictures than good weather. So I thought, "Let's try to find those lions."
The light's fading; we're not too far from the water hole where we saw them. And here's this magnificent male. He's one of the most beautiful lions I have ever seen. He's headed into the wind trying to find shelter out there in the Kalahari and the light's going fast, the wind's howling, the sky's dark. It's getting late in the afternoon, and again, I mean, you're just shooting like a maniac.
Of course, I had to get relatively close to him because the dust storm was so thick that I couldn't cut through the dust to even see him. He was so preoccupied with the weather that he wasn't really paying much attention to me. It was one of those cases too, like the camels, where you're shooting and shooting and shooting and you've lost all sense of time. You know you have this great opportunity in front of you and somehow you've got to figure out how to capture it on film.