The Serengeti is a vast grassland where you’ll occasionally find small outcroppings of granite, like rocky islands in a sea of grass. They call these rocks kopjes (pronounced ko-pee).
This is where the lions find safety from grassfires, shelter under the trees, and vantage points for hunting — and where photographers can find scenes like no other place.
If you’ve seen the “The Lion King”, you might recognize this as the place where Simba, the star of the show, stood atop a kopje.
When I visited, the female lions and their cubs were up on the kopjes while the males were on the grass down below.
Early in the evening, when the sky just started softening, I photographed two adult female lions grooming each other.
I love the way the cubs often pose together! I decided to process this image with sepia toning for a different look.
Finally at the end of the evening I was treated to an incredible moment when sunset colours blanketed the sky just as two cubs decided to descend the kopje to join their parents below.
All of the lion images were made with my 400mm f/5.6L lens and the Canon 6D.
You might be surprised to find out that due to the low light conditions, I used ISO2000!! That’s a setting I would never have considered using in the past, but now that noise reduction software is so good, I didn’t worry about it at all. I’d rather have a sharp image with a bit of noise than a blurry image. To reduce the noise, I simply used the noise reduction slider in Lightroom.