Sean Owens

Camera: Nikon D850

Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8

Aperture: F2.8

Shutter speed: 1/1600

ISO: 320

Description: Solitary male lion surveys his territory on the Dawn Patrol

Story from behind the lens: The sun began to rise and as filtered light began to spread over the Mara we spotted something moving in the tall grass. Through the binoculars, in the hazy distance, we could see a solitary male lion walking down a slight slope, gliding through the grass. We were able to position the Rover about a mile away in a location that appeared to provide the best viewpoint as he passed us by. Moving towards us, a fleeting, misty-cloud observed on every grunted exhalation, he grew closer and closer to our vehicle. Watching an apex predator, at the top of his game, slowly glide towards you is a life changing experience no matter how frequently seen. As he got closer to the vehicle, he paused, cast his gaze to the distance and took on a hypnotic grace that sent chills down the spine. I chose to render this image in black and white, to help create a stark image of this magnificent animal making his rounds on the “Dawn Patrol”.