Ben Joel

Camera: Sony a7iv

Lens: 100-400mm GM

Aperture: 8.0

Shutter speed: 1/800

ISO: 2000

Description: Two adolescent lions stand side by side, eyeing the camera. They assert their presence while standing on an elevated, grassy mound. Almost seeming to mirror each other, they project strength.

Story from behind the lens: Basking in the morning glow, this pride of lions explored the area near a hippo-infested river and engaged in vibrant interactions. The pride consisted of a lioness matriarch and her three subadult cubs. One of her cubs, the only male, challenged his mother to a playful fight as she was walking by. Circling each other, tails swaying, they locked eyes with fierce determination to assert dominance over one another. Soon, they were on the ground, wrestling energetically in a spirited display of camaraderie and competition. It wasn’t long, however, until the young male submitted to his mother by rolling over and exposing his belly. After their playful scuffle, the pride crossed the river, seeking out a shaded area to rest and nap for the day.