Photographing wild animals from up close can be a difficult or even impossible task. Some of them are dangerous and you’d put yourself into danger if you approach them. The others, on the other hand, could be shy and won’t show themselves if there’s a human nearby.
Wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas has come up with tech that overcomes these challenges. He has designed a few products that make it easy to photograph dangerous and shy animals from up close, without coming anywhere near them. In this video, he talks about his inventions and how they can help photographers get unique, dramatic close-ups of wild animals.
Will came up with a remote-controlled camera buggy, the BeetleCam, in 2009. It allowed him to have his camera down on the ground and photograph his subjects from up close with a wide-angle lens, which is an unusual perspective for photos of wild animals. He took his invention to Africa and initially used it to photograph animals like lions, buffalo, elephants, and so on.
He admits that the original design had its flaws. For example, it wasn’t sturdy enough, so he had one camera devoured by a lion. However, he has added a protective shell and other improvements over the years, which enabled him to photograph a variety of species from a unique angle (and keep his gear safe).
While the BeetleCam was helpful for photographing large and/or dangerous animals, it was of no use when it came to shy animals. They wouldn’t let the camera buggy anywhere near them. So, Will came up with camera traps to help him capture unusual perspectives of these animals.
The camera trap is basically a stationary camera with a sensor. When the animal passes by the sensor, the photo is taken automatically. Will would leave the camera traps outside for weeks or even months, and it allowed him to photograph shy animals and nocturnal creatures.
Will even sells his products through his company Camtraptions, for all of you who want to give it a go with close-up, wide-angle photos of wild animals. And perhaps you also remember Will’s amazing infrared photos of owls. He built the entire setup himself to photograph these wonderful creatures, and you can read more about it here.