How to Photograph Dangerous Animals up Close Without Getting Killed

Wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas has come up with creative means of getting close to some of the world’s most dangerous and shyest animals. Check out this short video to find out some of his gadgets for getting shots that would otherwise be impossible without putting yourself in a lot of danger or scaring off your subject.

Burrard-Lucas initially created Beetlecam, his own remote control housing for a DSLR in order to capture animals that don’t like being approached by humans. This was an ideal means of photographing larger creatures such as elephants and buffalo, shooting up close and with a wide angle lens in order to create dramatic compositions. However, for nocturnal animals and those that are too skittish to get close to a weird device, he needed a different approach and began designing his own system of camera traps.

After spending several years developing devices, Burrard-Lucas has made his creations available for sale via his website, Camera traps are an excellent means of creating images of wildlife that otherwise would simply not be possible and photographers have found some truly innovative methods for shooting animals in a way that has never been achieved before. For more inspiration, be sure to check out the rig designed and built by photographer Paul Colley whose infrared images of bats as they hunted for prey won awards last year.

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That beetle cam produces some great shots... For hyenas, there was a great documentary by wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan called "Tribes, Predators and me", and on an episode in Ethiopia he learned how to get close to hyenas. It seems there's a lot of misconceptions about hyenas, and they're not at all aggressive, unlike lions or elephants.

Mark Dunsmuir's picture

Very cool. We're off to Namibia in a few months. We're going to have to sort this out and order something!

David Pavlich's picture

Or you could hire a guide that carries a .460 Weatherby Magnum. :-) :-)

Maximilian Sulzer's picture

How many of the 6 Hyenas do you recon he can shoot before they kill you when being that close?

David Pavlich's picture

I did put TWO smileys at the end to show I was joking. Next time, I'll use six smileys.

Maximilian Sulzer's picture

I should do the same then