Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Description: A pair of young lion cubs from the Black Rock Pride, gaze curiously at my long lens, having swiftly emerged onto the picturesque Black Rock after having completed feeding on a fresh wildebeest kill.
Story from behind the lens: I was visiting the Masai Mara on a family leisure trip for 2 nights to celebrate my mothers 60th Birthday, It was a safari expedition for 2 nights, 3 days, in which I carried my Canon 7D Mark II and my Canon 100- 400mm lens in which I could take photos of wildlife encountered as even though I was not on a long photography safari per say, the wildlife in the Masai Mara is always incredible to photograph and for the first time ever, I visited the Black Rock area and this lion scene came to me as a surprise.
I took this specific photo on Tuesday the 28th of December, 2021 around 3pm moments after lunch at the Masai Mara National Reserve Kenya, in the 'Black Rock Area'.
At the time of the photo, I was with my family my mum Pallvi, my aunt, uncle and cousin, Shiv along with our guides Daniel Ole Musukut, Ben Sayialel and Julius Sananka in our two land cruisers made for the African Bush.
Moments after we sat down to eat lunch, our guides herd news that the Black Rock Pride had killed two wildebeest and were all out in the sun around their famous habitat spot the 'Black Rock', we finished eating lunch rapidly and made our way to the area the pride was spotted, having arrived we had seen 5 lionesses and 8 cubs all feasting on fresh wildebeest kills although there were none sat on the famous rock, they were all on the grass, I was quite saddened however I had politely asked my guide and the patience of my family to wait abit and see if any of the members would climb the rock, for half an hour there was no luck which turned into one hour, although suddenly a paw and sharp claws appeared from inside the rock, a paw turned into an ear which turned into a full lion cub, it seemed like there were still cubs actually playing inside the rock and having been less shy they ventured out; two young cubs sat perfectly positioned on the black rock, glaring at me directly. I picked up my lens and began to shoot the amazing moment as they lay straight positioned as models in-front of my lens.
I loved every moment as their shyness faded gradually and the lion cubs enjoyed the attention; Surreal moment with an amazing background too, the famous Black Rock.
The coolest part of this photo is the cub on the right already has started to develop features of the older male black rock lions in the Masai Mara, one of the most legendary coalitions of lions in East Africa.
Camera Settings used, 400 mm maximum zoom, lowest angle possible from the photography vehicle, and a direct angle of the lion cubs sat on the rock
taken on a high resolution lens on manual focus with a high shutter speed 1/500 sec and ISO 320 and an aperture of f/ 5.6.