Sean Owens

Camera: Nikon D850

Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8

Aperture: F2.8

Shutter speed: 1/1600

ISO: 64

Description: Four elephants ghosting through the early morning mist

Story from behind the lens: Waking up in the Mara, in the early, brisk pre-dawn hours, feels like a gift. On this particular morning, warm thermos of coffee in hand, my guide and I pulled out of camp and were prepared to be fascinated by what the day had in store for us. As the first light of dawn began to light up the horizon it became clear that we were going to have a hazy morning not a magnificent sunrise. Looking for the silver lining, we stopped the Rover as a group of 4 elephants ghosted past us. The light began to take on a mystical character. The foreground retained color - the grass was green and dripping with dew but as you looked into the distance, everything became hazy and took on shades of grey and black. Afraid of losing the light, I quickly picked up my camera and fired off a shot only to be asked by my trusted guide and friend, "I am guessing that you meant to take that photograph with the lens cap on?" Error corrected, I recomposed the shot and it wasn't until later that evening back at camp that I was able to appreciate the image. I enjoy the disconnect between close and near focus, color and clarity. The solitary tree with a wide horizon of shadow animals help to define the distance. The whole location felt like a cathedral of grass.