Photographs of Wildlife in Africa Captured from Intimate Perspectives


Remote cameras can give photographers perspectives they ordinarily wouldn’t be able to capture, and these photographs by photographer Anup Shah show just that. For his project titled Serengeti Spy, Shah traveled to the African savannah in the Serengeti and the Massai Mara and photographed the wild animals using a remote camera.

The hidden cameras, camouflaged to look like part of the landscape, were placed in various locations across the plains to capture intimate in-your-face photographs of animals ranging from hyenas to wildebeests. Shah operated the camera from a distance while sitting inside a vehicle, framing the shots and triggering the shutter.

Many of the animals in the shots are staring directly into the camera (or even interacting with it) after having their curiosity piqued by the sound of the shutter snapping away.














The photographs have been published in a 204-page photo book titled Serengeti Spy: Views from a Hidden Camera on the Plains of East Africa, which can be purchased on Amazon. Here’s the description:

This is life on the plains in all its dynamism, cruelty and vitality, the circle of life in action. Readers will find themselves literally face to face with hyenas as they feed on a kill, with elephants communing in a watering hold, playful lion cubs, wildebeests leaping across a ravine, inquisitive monkeys who have discovered the camera and gaze directly into the lens and cheetahs peering back under their tails towards the camera. Many of these animals have actually noticed the camera, mostly by the sound of it clicking away and their interest is clearly piqued; they’re certainly not accustomed to encounters with a camera on the ground of their home turf. This is primarily a visual journey through the African plains, but captions written by the author will impart interesting facts about the animals, as well as any activity of interest that may have occurred while the photo was being taken.

American Photo magazine recently published a great interview in which Shah talks about how he shot this project. You can also find more of Shah’s work on his website.

Image credits: Photographs by Anup Shah and used with permission

  • Guest

    No animal attempted to pick up one of the cameras?

    And we’re any unfortunately trampled by the elephants? :P

  • Sarah Bugeja Kissaun

    No animal attempted to pick up one of the cameras?

    And were any unfortunately trampled by the elephants? :P

  • Haron Forteau

    The cheetah is hilarious :D

  • Robisierra

    awesome :)

  • Bartari

    I always wonder with this type of projects how the focussing is done. For example the shallow d.o.f. photo of the cheetah. Is that done by remotely controlling the camera?

  • Jonathan Maniago

    Telephoto lens? I don’t need no stinkin’ telephoto lens!

    Seriously though, it’s refreshing to see wildlife photographs using wider (and less expensive) lenses.

  • Stan

    Awesome project, awesome results.

  • Mick

    Fantastic shots!, puts you right there in the moment.

  • briphoto

    amazing shots

  • Matthew Neumann

    Oh man…some of those are pretty epic.

  • Mona Isn’t Smiling Enough

    These are okay. I just wish they were taken from a different perspective. It bugs me
    that the subjects are so distorted – I think they would be more effective as a series if the
    camera were further removed so the photographer could compose the images better. But that’s just my own
    personal taste. nothing wrong with the images themselves.

  • Erik Lauri Kulo

    The vulture one is amazing.

  • Rohan Nowell

    Great photos

  • Suchitab

    Go pro on the move?

  • corey zwegers

    My mind was blown.

  • Michael Aji

    I personally think they are amazing. There are plenty of other photographs which provide what you described. The whole point is that its up close and personal and I don’t know any other way he could have done it without himself or the animal getting harmed.

  • Darin

    Honestly, I wouldn’t keep hardly any of those. It’s a neat idea, but the framing just doesn’t work.

  • Mansgame

    I love these kinds of projects.