By Crystal Chung @CRYSTALKCHUNG
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Videographer / director: Will Burrard-Lucas
Producer: Crystal Chung, Ellie Winstanley
Editor: Ian Phillips
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.
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.
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.
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!”
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 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.
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 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.”