BeetleCam’s Gorgeous Images of Lions Having Lunch

By Nick Venable | Published

Rarely is something as beautiful as a photograph, and technology is keeping up to make this as timeless a declaration as possible. Nature photographers have for years captured some of the most memorable images of Earth’s landscapes and wildlife; UK photographers and brothers William and Matt Burrard-Lucas have, since 2004, carved a spacious spot for themselves among the field’s elite.

In 2009, they created the BeetleCam, a DSLR camera mounted to a remote-controlled buggy, similar in practice to NASA’s simpler rovers. The goal was to get up close and personal with certain elements of the wild that would be dangerous for actual people, and in that goal they succeeded wildly. Highlights of their high-definition collection include loving gorillas, showering penguins, and even a mosquito hatching from its pupal case. But more recently, the brothers have been getting some amazingly candid shots from the South Luangwa National Park in Nambia, Africa, where they will remain until later next year.

I’m pretty sure a yawning lion is more terrifying than a giraffe with a gun. The more eye-grabbing photos that inspired this story are, of course, graphic and involve gratification from the flesh of an antelope. So yes, it’s pretty much like 90 percent of everything else on this site.

It’s disturbing how well those two convey just how matter of fact a scene like that really is, as if to say, “We are normal, but you, rolling camouflaged system of lens, you are the odd one out in this setting.” And they’re not even fully mature yet. Unlike in the MLB, these are definitely cubs to fear.

This is a wonderful perspective shot, showing us just how much of a lion’s personal bubble the BeetleCam enters. Expect more like this on the brothers’ blog in the future. And because I’m a nice guy, here’s that mosquito saying goodbye to the pupa case.