Animals

Stunning black-and-white pictures show the jaw-dropping majesty of the lion

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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.’ 

French photographer Laurent Baheux travelled around Africa for 17 years and captured these incredible lion images
French photographer Laurent Baheux travelled around Africa for 17 years and captured these incredible lion images
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The photographer worked alone, without an assistant, remote controls or drones, to avoid interfering with the lions' daily lives
The photographer worked alone, without an assistant, remote controls or drones, to avoid interfering with the lions’ daily lives
Baheux's photography captures lions playing among the pride, hunting and eyeing us directly from the page
 Baheux’s photography captures lions playing among the pride, hunting and eyeing us directly from the page
The photographer's stunning images show this feline animal with the precision and texture of a studio portrait
 The photographer’s stunning images show this feline animal with the precision and texture of a studio portrait
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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.  

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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.’  

These breathtaking black-and-white images are a powerful depiction of one of the most majestic species in the world
These breathtaking black-and-white images are a powerful depiction of one of the most majestic species in the world
Of all the photographs that feature in Lions, Baheux's personal favourite is this portrait of a lion looking into the distance
Of all the photographs that feature in Lions, Baheux’s personal favourite is this portrait of a lion looking into the distance
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All the pictures in the new coffee table book show wild lions living freely in their natural habitat across Africa
All the pictures in the new coffee table book show wild lions living freely in their natural habitat across Africa
The beautiful, high-definition images capture the lions' many different movements, postures, behaviours and expressions
The beautiful, high-definition images capture the lions’ many different movements, postures, behaviours and expressions 

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.

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‘Each lion I photograph has a personality and poses in an atmosphere that gives different tones.

‘I like images that touch, surprise or question.’  

The images were taken between March 2002 and June 2019, over the course of about 30 trips to Africa
The images were taken between March 2002 and June 2019, over the course of about 30 trips to Africa
Baheux said: 'The lion offers subtle and infinite possibilities - strength, fragility, love, tenderness'
Baheux said: ‘The lion offers subtle and infinite possibilities – strength, fragility, love, tenderness’ 
Laurent Baheux dedicates his new book to the 'King of the Animals' - the lion. 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'
Laurent Baheux dedicates his new book to the ‘King of the Animals’ – the lion. 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’

Lions by Laurent Baheux is published by teNeues and will be released in October for £29.95Visit www.teneues.com for more.

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