Garnet Grosjeran

Camera: Nikon D850

Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 set at 135mm

Aperture: f2.8

Shutter speed: 1/1250

ISO: 220

Description: Mating male lion drives off voyeur

Story from behind the lens: It was an overcast afternoon in our part of the Mara, with the only wildlife activity a pair of mating lions and a large herd of elephants feeding on the tall grass. After taking too many elephant shots, we returned to spend some time with the lions, hoping to get some different perspectives on their mating behaviour.

After two rounds of coupling, and too many uninspiring images, I decided to look for a different angle and asked my guide to relocate our land cruiser. In the process of moving, I spotted a third lion, a young adult male, crouched in the grass observing the mating pair. As we stopped, I began to compose an image, of this unusual behavior. I wanted the young male, out-of-focus, in the foreground with the mating pair in sharp focus in the distance.

I was setting up the shot when the young ‘Peeping Tom’ decided to creep nearer to the pair for a better view. His movement caught the attention of the dominant male. He immediately stopped mating and rushed over to deal with the voyeur.

A rapid change of camera settings was required to focus the composition on the interaction of the two males, as captured in this image.