Camera: Nikon D850

Lens: AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm 1:2.8E FL ED

Aperture: f2.8

Shutter speed: 1/1000

ISO: 5600

Description: When his morning mud ritual was interrupted this buffalo seemed less like fresh from the bath and more like fresh out of patience!

Story from behind the lens: We left camp early that morning as we had a long drive planned to search for cheetah that had been seen near the airstrip the previous day. We had not driven far when we came upon a group of Cape Buffalo enjoying a morning mud bath. As we slowly approached one large mud-splattered male emerged from the bath and turned to challenge us. By slowly lowering my camera outside the vehicle and quickly composing the image on the LCD, I was able to capture the eye-level image and withdraw from the scene to limit any stress on the animal. A quick review of the image, as we drove away, indicated that I had been able to capture the soft morning light illuminating the animal's head and face, focusing attention on the eyes, the juxtaposition of the rising horns and drooping ears, the wet nose, and the wonderful beard. By using a fast shutter speed I was able to freeze the moment in time. A memorable Mara moment!