By Crystal Chung @CRYSTALKCHUNG

Peering into the lens of the camera in the middle of the night a robotic camera captures what some of the planet’s most dangerous and elusive animals get up to when the lights go out

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Videographer / director: Will Burrard-Lucas
Producer: Crystal Chung, Ellie Winstanley
Editor: Ian Phillips

A hyena feeds her offspring after dark in the Liuwa Plain National Park, Zambia

THESE stunning nighttime images capture what some of the planet’s most dangerous and elusive animals get up to when the lights go out.

Innovative British photographer Will Burrard-Lucas sent his ‘BeetleCam’ - a robotic camouflaged camera - into Liuwa Plain National Park in Zambia after dark.

Will used a wide angled camera lens in order to capture incredible pictures of the lions under the starry sky

The aim was to see African wildlife in a new way - and some clever photography techniques helped him set the animals against an authentic starry backdrop. 

The Beetlecam captures a porcupine looking at its own reflection in the National Park

Shot over the period of a year, the unbelievable images show hyenas, lions, zebra and even a porcupine in the night.

BeetleCam, which is similar to something out of Robot Wars, was backed up by motion-activated camera traps to get some of the close-ups.

Burrard-Lucas' aim aim was to show African wildlife at night in a way that had never been done before

Will, 32 said: “My aim with this project was to show African wildlife at night in a way that had never been done before so to do that I travelled to this part of Zambia where there are many hyenas and other nocturnal animals I could photograph.

“The only way I could get close enough was with a remote control camera because I wouldn’t be able to physically crawl that close to these dangerous animals without suffering some serious consequences!”

Will also credits modern day technology to the outcome of his stunning images

Using his incredible invention to his advantage Will can be seen getting up close and personal with the animals through the safety of BeetleCam as the creatures walk up to the contraption to inspect it, peering into the lens as the camera snaps the rare close-up images. 

Will said: "I wouldn’t be able to crawl that close to these dangerous animals without suffering some serious consequences"

Will also credits modern day technology to the outcome of his stunning images as several of his pictures show thousands of bright stars lighting up the night sky in Zambia.

He said: “I wanted to be able to show nocturnal creatures in a way that hasn’t been done before, by exposing the stars in the background to show the creatures in their nighttime environment and capturing their true spirit and essence.

Throughout the project the intrepid photographer was aiming to take pictures that would give viewers a sense of being immersed in a nocturnal environment

He said: “I used off camera flashes to illuminate the foreground and the animal and I left the camera shutter open after the flashes went off to expose the stars in the sky.”

The technique led to some unusual but captivating side effects - In several of the images ghostly shadows behind the animals can be seen which were caused by a long shutter speed with the moon illuminating the foreground of the images and also brightening the sky to create the breathtaking images.

Will used his Beetlecam and also several camera traps to photograph in a way that has never been done before

Will said: “At the start of the exposure when my flash goes off it exposed the animal but then the animals move around for the rest of the exposure and that’s how these ghostly shadowy figures appear in the frame.”

To take a look at more of Will’s incredible photography visit his website: www.burrard-lucas.com and for more information on the devices used visit: www.camtraptions.com