Award-winning photographer Michael Nichols spent the past two years in Tanzania, capturing images of a pride of Serengeti lions for a feature in the latest issue of National Geographic. Shooting since July 2011, Nichols and his team achieved their purpose using a fairly novel combination of tools: infrared ligtning, an aerial drone and a robot.
Compelled to take pictures at night due to lions' nocturnal hunting habits, the team employed SUV-mounted infrared lighting to illuminate the shooting landscape. A remote-operated robot provided dangerously close shots of the beasts while a drone equipped with a camera took aerial photos.
Nichols and cinematographer Nathan Williamson were also never far from the action, capturing over 240,000 images and some 200 hours of video from their custom-made Land Rover over the course of the undertaking. The photos are remarkably natural, as can be seen below.
Photo credit: Michael Nichols/National Geographic