The innovative and arresting wildlife photography of Anup Shah has established him as a unique presence in the genre for over 20 years. His work has become synonymous with originality, intimacy and detail, and has been featured in countless exhibitions, books and magazines as well as winning him numerous prestigious awards including Wildlife Photographer of the Year an astonishing 14 times.

Dance

Paper Edition of 150, 29” x 15”, £695

Dance Deluxe

Paper Edition of 25, 39” x 21”, £1,250

Mid-morning, Maasai Mara, Kenya. It is the long dry season. I am with a 15 feet tall giraffe bull walking with all the dignity in the world. I know him well – a solitary being, he hangs around at the long edge of riverine forest and grassland. Today he is on his way back to the shade of the forest, his gait effortless. But then something spooks him and he breaks into a short run. I imagine him taking off to fly, conjuring up a tremendous image of freedom – a symbol of what Mara’s wilderness means to me.

ACHIEVEMENTS

Named as one of the world’s top wildlife photographers by Rotovision. Featured in Horzu Magazine as one of the five best wildlife photographers in the world. 14 times Winner: Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Featured in Masters of Nature Photography (Natural History Museum 2013). His magazine work includes eight full length features for National Geographic magazine. His images have been published widely and his books include Tiger’s Tale, The Great Rift Valley of East Africa, Wild Rhythms of Africa, Circle of Life, Serengeti Spy and African Odyssey. He has spent the past decade photographing the chimpanzees of Tanzania’s Gombe National Park for a new book Tales from Gombe written with his wife, Fiona Rogers.

Hunter

Paper Edition of 150, 28” x 19”, £750

Hunter Deluxe

Paper Edition of 25, 38” x 25”, £1,250

It was exhilarating to drive around, which I do by myself in my own 4 x 4 with easy access to my camera equipment. I had been keeping track of a coalition of four male lions, known locally as The Four Musketeers (Hunter, Scarface, Morani, Sikio), for a couple of weeks or so. They held sway over a vast swathe of Mara and I remember their teamwork, their roaring and their marking territory with serious intent. This morning, I found the lions quite quickly as they meandered in the tall grass, on a mission to where they only knew. However, sometimes they re-emerged on a track with Hunter in lead. He paused to glance at me, alert and poised. He seemed momentarily puzzled but then visibly relaxed and I caught a glint in his eyes.

Onward

Paper Edition of 150, 28” x 19”, £750

Onward Deluxe

Paper Edition of 25, 38” x 25”, £1,250

The animal herds, thousands in number, are at the river bank, plotting a way to cross south toward Serengeti. This Mara River is deadly. Many years ago, I had waded across it on foot, keeping a vigilant eye on lurking crocodiles and wary hippos. So I understood the hesitation of the nervous animals wanting to cross. Dilemma, to cross or to turn back? Squeezed in a sheltered gap I waited. Someone wrote that all wisdom is contained in two words, wait and hope. So they waited and waited, tails flicking, ears twitching, looking here and there with trepidation. Then hope kicked in and as their hooves splattered mud on a soggy earth and the river crossing began. It was powerful and decisive, their pace compact yet energetic. It felt as if one was about to be run over.

On the Move

Paper Edition of 150, 28” x 19”, £750

On the Move Deluxe

Paper Edition of 25, 38” x 25”, £1,250

Although the long rains were petering out, today the clouds were burgeoning again. I drove slowly on the treacherous tracks, slipping and skidding, looking all around for lions. The animals I encountered appeared completely indifferent to the conditions. I encountered The Marsh Pride at last, five lionesses and eight cubs walking easily to their favourite resting place, a sheltered dry river bed. I have known this pride, on and off, for several years now. They are very good about letting you watch them. The pride had eaten this morning and the cubs were in an energetic mood. The lionesses were remarkably tolerant of their mischiefs. I was hoping for a photograph that would juxtapose these contrasting moods and, after an hour of trying, I ended up with this.

Steadfast

Paper Edition of 150, 42” x 22”, £1,250

Steadfast Deluxe

Paper Edition of 25, 50” x 26”, £1,950

Late December, the short, dry season, Maasai Mara, Kenya. The afternoon sky was threatening downpour. I had been concentrating on photographing elephants for about a month now. Although elephants travel long distances, they broadly follow the same routes, setting out and returning. Thus, I had become familiar with a few families. One family, led by a calm matriarch, was quite relaxed around me sitting in my 4x4 sipping tea. But that day was a great opportunity for an atmospheric photograph. The elephant family emerged from the riverine forest and on to the adjoining plain. The elephants went about their daily task of feeding, alert to the signals from the matriarch. But she was not bothered in the least. I set up the shot at a dusty patch, anticipating that the family would come there. I hoped that the resulting photograph would speak of both raw nature and tranquillity emanating from the elephants set against the impending, menacing storm.