Burrard-Lucas regularly travels the world to document everything from annual wildebeest migrations in the Serengeti to Komodo dragons lurking about Indonesian forests. Lately, though, Africa has become “[his] primary focus.” In honor of World Wildlife Day, we selected a handful of our favorite photos Burrard-Lucas has taken and talked with him about his work:
Childhood experiences greatly informed Burrard-Lucas’ gravitation toward the world of wildlife photography. “As a child I lived in Tanzania for a few years and got to experience safari for the first time,” Burrard-Lucas told All That Is Interesting. “I was immediately fascinated by African wildlife.”
Over time — and after taking a dive into the documentaries of British naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough — Burrard-Lucas decided to try his hand at documenting his own travels.
A meerkat looks out toward the dusky horizon in Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana
“I picked up my first camera back in 2001 when I went on holiday to Namibia,” Burrard-Lucas said. “Pretty much from that trip I became hooked on wildlife photography, and took every opportunity to get out in the field to take photos.”
Over the past decade and a half, the photographer’s travels have obviously enhanced his artistic and technical capabilities, even spurring some pretty major innovation. In 2010, Burrard-Lucas invented the BeetleCam, which he describes as a “remote control buggy for DSLR cameras.”
This invention proved incredibly helpful for documenting what he told All That Is Interesting was the most personally impacting photo he has ever taken. While living in Zambia in 2012 and 2013, Burrard-Lucas set out to take photos of wild dogs living in South Luangwa National Park.
A pair of African Wild Dogs in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.
“One day I came across a pack of African Wild Dogs and enjoyed spending the morning with them,” Burrard-Lucas said. “After taking some shots with my long lens, I decided to deploy BeetleCam. The dogs’ curiosity was instantly aroused and they crowded around BeetleCam and the camera. I had always dreamed of photographing wild dogs from this perspective and the resulting shots were exactly what I had hoped for.”
That’s not to say that all of Burrard-Lucas’ field work is a thing of beauty. “I have witnessed firsthand the rate of destruction of the natural world and it can be very depressing,” the photographer said. “I often work with researchers and conservationists who are dedicating their lives to protecting wildlife, [which] has given me an insight into the challenges many species and ecosystems are facing.”
But to Burrard-Lucas, increased documentation means increased value — and if there is anything to be said for the 21st century, it’s that technological innovation vastly increases the ways we can document reality, and share it with others. “Through my images,” he says, “I aim to inspire people to celebrate and conserve the natural world.”
Consider us inspired.
A male lion yawns next to his kill in Masai Mara, Kenya.
A gargantuan mother hippo charges at the photographer in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.
A leopard watches monkeys in trees amid South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.
A cheetah blends with its environment in Liuwa Plain National Park, Zambia.
A giraffe kicks its partner in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.
A lion cub approaches the camera in Masai Mara, Kenya.
A Silverback Western Lowland Gorilla patrols the Congo Rainforest.
A hippo yawns in the waters of South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.
A Verraux's eagle owl gazes out at Katavi National Park, Tanzania.
A male lion in morning repose, Kafue National Park, Zambia.
A lion sits atop a rock in Kidepo Valley, Uganda.
A meerkat family huddles together in Botswana.
A lone lion stands in the African Serengeti.
A young leopard surveys the remote-control camera in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.
A Verreauxs Sifaka jumps about in Madagascar's Berenty Reserve.
A baby mountain gorilla looks at the camera in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda.
A hyena looks toward the night skies in Liuwa Plain, Zambia.
A cheetah silhouette in Liuwa Plain National Park, Zambia.
A baby baboon ventures away from its parents.
A lioness at dusk in Liuwa Plain, Zambia.
A baboon sits in a tree, South Luangwa, Zambia.
A sifaka eats seeds in Madagascar's Anjajavy Forest.