Nirav Shah

Camera: Canon 450 D

Lens: 70-200mm f4 L Lens

Aperture: f5.6

Shutter speed: 1/2500s

ISO: 400

Description: A huge hippo walking into rock pool creating waves and splashes of water upon entry in the wild Masai Mara, Kenya.

Story from behind the lens: While it's not uncommon to sight a hippo, or even a bloat of hippos in the Mara, it's generally difficult to get an opportunity to photograph them at eye-level, particularly during the middle of the day. It was a hot day, I was on a culvert passing through and there was this huge hippo standing by the rock pool, staring at me directly. In anticipation of its entry into the water, I waited a bit and it waded into the water soon enough making splashes and ripples. Taking photos outside of the golden hour is not very flattering, the light is too harsh especially in the absence of cloud cover. By taking a close up and rendering the image in monochrome, I felt it produced a tidier image by way of colour, less distracted by the somewhat uninteresting background, and a really nice portrait of the hippo head along with freezing the splashes it made upon entry.