Will Burrard-Lucas followed a lead that an incredibly rare African black leopard was in the area. “I deployed my camera traps and managed to photograph the stunning creature as well as several regular ‘spotty’ leopards that shared the same territory,” says Will.
In the wilderness, everything is foreign and it’s a challenge to find special techniques to achieve aesthetically pleasing composition and lighting. “The only way to achieve this sort of photograph is to use camera traps such as the ‘Camtraptions’ system that I developed. These are deployed for many weeks or months and automatically trigger when an animal passes by. The other half is knowing where to put the cameras. Working with people who live alongside the animals improves my chances – and it is thanks to their help that I am able to capture images like this,” says Will.
“One of the most difficult images I tried was to expose a leopard with stars in the sky at night. This required a long exposure time for the stars and a flash to expose the foreground. On this night, the leopard came past while the moon was still above the horizon, resulting in a ghostly image. Leopards are elusive, shy, and at one with the night. For me, this is an image that captures the essence of this ghost-like creature,” he adds.
Will Burrard-Lucas is a wildlife photographer and founder of Camtraptions, a company specialising in equipment for camera trap photography. He dedicates much of his time to working on long-term book projects. His latest book, The Black Leopard, tells of his quest to photograph a rare melanistic leopard in Africa.
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