A new coffee table book features stunning black-and-white lion pictures guaranteed to take your breath away.
The images in the tome, which is simply titled Lions, were taken by French photographer Laurent Baheux over 17 years during odysseys across Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana. The lion, he says, is an animal that he ‘does not tire of immortalizing’.
He told MailOnline Travel: ‘You can spend hours with only one lion and never have the same picture. The lion offers subtle and infinite possibilities – strength, fragility, love, tenderness – that are a delight for me as a photographer.’
Baheux worked alone to take the photos, without an assistant, his eyes glued to the camera and its viewfinder. And while many images in the book feature close-up shots of the lions, Baheaux rarely approached the animals, preferring to let them come to him.
He said: ‘I do not seek to capture the attention or interfere with the daily lives of the lions I photograph.
‘I use large telephoto lenses that allow me to obtain photographic proximity without physical proximity.
‘I can therefore access the intimacy of the lions without harming their tranquillity.’
Baheux is best known for his monochrome images of wildlife, which have been showcased in galleries and books around the world. But working with lions in Africa holds a special place in his heart.
He said: ‘The contact with wildlife in Africa makes me intensely happy.
‘The light, landscapes, sounds, smells and all these animals that evolve freely in their environment offers powerful and unique sensations and emotions.’
Out of the 115 photographs that feature in Lions, Baheux’s personal favourite is a portrait of a fierce-looking lion looking into the distance.
He said: ‘The portrait shows both strength and tenderness. For me, it is very representative of what lions are: majestic animals with a natural sweetness and elegance.
‘Each lion I photograph has a personality and poses in an atmosphere that gives different tones.
‘I like images that touch, surprise or question.’