WPY 2012

Photograph Details

Specially commended 2012

Nature in Black & White

Charlie Hamilton James, UK

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.

Technical specification

Canon EOS 5D Mark II infrared converted + 24-105mm lens; 1/250 sec at f10; ISO 100.


Gol Kopjes, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania: latitude -2.33333, longitude 34.8333 Gol Kopjes, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania: latitude -2.33333, longitude 34.8333

Gol Kopjes, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

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Charlie Hamilton James, UK

  • Light path
  • Treading water
  • Filthy riches