WPY 2012

Photograph Details

Runner-up 2012

Animals in their Environment

Hannes Lochner, South Africa

Lion by lightning

This young male seemed blissfully unconcerned by the lightning and thunder rolling in across the Kalahari. Hannes, who was taking night shots in the South African part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, came across him stretched out beside the track. ‘He raised his head to stare at me a couple of times,’ says Hannes, ‘but he wasn’t really interested in either me or the dramatic goings-on behind him.’ Hannes worked fast, framing the lion against the illuminated night sky at the moment a bolt of lightning flashed to the ground. ‘Just after I took this picture,’ he adds, ‘there were a few more lightning bolts and then everything went still and dark again.’

Technical specification

Nikon D3 + 17-55mm f2.8 lens; 5 sec at f2.8; ISO 400; SB 900 flash; Badger Gear door bracket + Benro head.

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa: latitude -25.4399, longitude 20.903 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa: latitude -25.4399, longitude 20.903

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

Intellectual property rights to all WPY images are retained by the photographers. Reproduction without prior written consent constitutes an actionable infringement. For usage enquiries please contact us.

Sign up to receive emails from the Natural History Museum about events and exhibitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Hannes Lochner

Hannes Lochner, South Africa

Hannes’ love of nature began with childhood visits to game reserves from his South African home. He went on to study graphic design, became a river guide and travelled the world. When he returned to South Africa, he pursued his various interests until 2007, when he decided to become a wildlife photographer full time. He has won several awards and published three books.

  • Curiosity and the cat
  • Spikes and stars