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13 Sensational Camera Trap Photos of African Animals At Night

A pride of lions at night. (All images: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography. Used with permission.)
A pride of lions at night. (All images: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography. Used with permission.)

Will Burrard-Lucas likes to photograph unsuspecting African animals with strategically placed camera traps. For his latest project, the wildlife photographer sought to capture images of nocturnal animals as they conduct their affairs at night, and the results are spectacular.

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Burrard-Lucas, with the help of African Parks and Norman Carr Safaris, recently undertook two expeditions to Liuwa Plain, a remote national park in the west of Zambia. His goal was to capture striking images of animals in low-light conditions, which can be a formidable and technically challenging task.

Will Burrard-Lucas’ remote-controlled Beetlecam.
Will Burrard-Lucas’ remote-controlled Beetlecam.
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His first aim was to take images showing animals under the beautiful, starry sky. “To achieve these shots, I would need a wide-angle lens and a ground-level perspective so that I could look up at the subject and have the sky as a backdrop,” he explained at his blog. “BeetleCam, my remote control camera buggy, would be the perfect tool for this.”

During his first night in Liuwa, he managed to photograph a pride of lions (shown above in the banner), which turned out to be one of his favorites from the project. He also snapped some cool solo shots.

Illustration for article titled 13 Sensational Camera Trap Photos of African Animals At Night
Illustration for article titled 13 Sensational Camera Trap Photos of African Animals At Night
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“Hyenas greatly outnumber the lions and are the dominant predators in Liuwa Plain,” said Burrard-Lucas. “They are mainly nocturnal so they made ideal subjects for this project.”

Illustration for article titled 13 Sensational Camera Trap Photos of African Animals At Night
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Illustration for article titled 13 Sensational Camera Trap Photos of African Animals At Night
Illustration for article titled 13 Sensational Camera Trap Photos of African Animals At Night
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In the image directly above, some of the hyenas moved after the flash, forming the ghost-like figures to the left and right of the hyenas at the center of the photo.

By setting up his Camtraptions camera traps near a watering hole, Burrard-Lucas managed to capture images of a porcupine and a zebra going in for a sip. Zebras aren’t particularly known for being active at night, so the image caught the photographer by surprise.

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Illustration for article titled 13 Sensational Camera Trap Photos of African Animals At Night
Illustration for article titled 13 Sensational Camera Trap Photos of African Animals At Night
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The photograph below, showing a group of reedbuck as they were backlight by flames, is particularly stunning.

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The storms in the Liuwa Plain are quite dramatic, so Burrard-Lucas sought to photograph the lightning as it appeared behind an animal. “I found a hyena and lined it up with the storm. I then took back-to-back long exposures hoping that a lightning bolt would eventually strike in the right spot and silhouette the animal,” Burrard-Lucas wrote. “The hyena was moving so keeping it lined-up with the storm (again in the pitch darkness) was challenging but my perseverance was rewarded with the shot below.”

Illustration for article titled 13 Sensational Camera Trap Photos of African Animals At Night
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He managed to grab some other sweet pics as well.

Illustration for article titled 13 Sensational Camera Trap Photos of African Animals At Night
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Illustration for article titled 13 Sensational Camera Trap Photos of African Animals At Night
Illustration for article titled 13 Sensational Camera Trap Photos of African Animals At Night
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You can find out more about this project, and the techniques Burrard-Lucas used to capture these photos, at his blog.

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George is a senior staff reporter at Gizmodo.

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DISCUSSION

theburnersmydestination
TheBurnersMyDestination

The lions are so photogenic! It looks like they planned out their family photo.

The group of hyenes look like they are doing their cover art for a rap album circa 2002