Lookout for lions
Charlie was filming lions around the Gol Kopjes area of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania when he came across these cheetahs. They, too, were watching lions. ‘Once the danger had gone,’ Charlie says, ‘they relaxed into a gloriously symmetrical pose, in the middle of a curved rock, under a symmetry of clouds, crowned by a perfectly positioned small cloud at the top.’ He adds that ‘normally when taking wildlife pictures, everything conspires against the photographer, but with this picture it was the reverse. Everything worked in harmony.’ The cheetahs stayed posed for only a few minutes and afterwards, as though on cue, went straight to sleep. Charlie chose to photograph them with a converted infrared camera, which in bright sunlight makes an azure sky dark and dramatic.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II infrared converted + 24-105mm lens; 1/250 sec at f10; ISO 100.
Gol Kopjes, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Charlie Hamilton James, UK
Charlie is a television presenter and photojournalist, specialising in technical wildlife images and conservation documentaries. His lifelong obsession to understand, document and protect the natural world has led him to win numerous international awards as a photographer and cinematographer. He is currently working on several assignments for National Geographic Magazine.