A Siberian tiger glares into the lens as British photographer Jonathan Griffiths inches close to get his shot.
With a sprinkling of snow covering his face, this stunning Siberian tiger relaxes in the Montana mountains. While he may look cuddly, it would take just a few swift movements to swipe the photographer behind the lens with his huge paw. (Pics)
For the cameraman is lying just inches away from the majestic beast.
Jonathan Griffths held his camera close to lions, tigers, bears, panthers and cougars as he endured temperatures of -40C.
In one photograph, bears roar menacingly close to his lens. In another, a lion demonstrates its power by swiping at his camera and, in another, a tiger leaves condensation on his lens with its breath.
‘By far the most nerve racking animal was the black leopard, which made me fear for my life and I thought it could attack at any moment,’ he said.
‘It was was just mean and did not like humans full stop.’
A black leopard bares its teeth at the camera
While in Montana, U.S., for the past 15 months, the 32-year-old Brit had to gain the trust of each animal on the wildlife breeding reserve over two or three-day periods and inched closer as they became used to his scent.
A pair of brown Bears roar at the camera in the Montana mountains
He would wake up at 5.30am each day, trekking off on mountain trails in search of snow leopards, wolves and black leopards.
A guide would stand by his side as he came face to face with some of nature’s most dangerous animals and captured them in intimate detail.
A lion stares into the lens on the snowy slopes in Montana.
Mr Griffiths, from Egham, Surrey, only began taking photographs two years ago when he was given a birthday present by his fiancee.
Jonathan Griffiths checks the images on his camera.
But while she had the intention that he would photograph their newborn son, Mr Griffiths took things to the extreme.
After spending time at the local zoo, he decided to take pictures of powerful predators in the wild and researched the best places to spot them.
The currency trader flew to Montana, where he stayed in a lodge at Ear Mountain wildlife reserve.
An American Badger
‘At first I was quite nervous being so close to the animals as I did not know what to expect and they are wild,’ he said.
‘It’s a big adrenaline rush. When you’re so close you can see the drool dripping on to their jaws and you can’t believe it.’
He said he would entice them closer by feeding them with meat.
A pack of grey wolves tear into their prey
‘In a deep Montana winter it was tough going climbing up the remote mountains with all my camera gear every day.
‘My family think I’m a bit nuts and worry about the consequences if something went wrong.
‘But I just like getting as close as possible to get a different kind of shot.’
Via Daily Mail