Remote Controlled Photography - Wildlife Close-ups Without the Risk

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Wildlife photography, especially in Kenya, carries with it a certain amount of danger.  It can be difficult to tell when an animal sees you as a threat, and when close becomes to close.  Will and Matthew Will Burrard-Lucas are able to stay out of danger thanks to their BeetleCam.

In essence, the BeetleCam is a camera mounted on a modified remote-controlled buggy.  The buggy was customized to handle the harsh driving conditions and uneven terrain, and the camera was modified to respond to the same remote as the buggy.

"We like to get really close to the animals with a wide-angle lens," says Will, "That's the photo we really enjoy getting."  To get that close, a human would have to be incredibly brave and incredibly patient.  The buggy doesn't need to worry about safety though, and it's small enough that it's unlikely to be perceived as a threat.

That doesn't mean that the venture has been without incident.  On the second day that the pair attempted to photograph lions, it was attacked.  The device was smashed to pieces and carried off into the bush.  "We were extremely lucky to retrieve an intact memory card from the mangled Canon 400D body," says Will.

The BeetleCam blog has a great gallery detailing some of the more impressive shots from all across the globe, as well as more details on the construction of the device.