Naturalist and photographer Atif Saeed risked the wrath of a lion to capture this spectacular shot of the big cat snarling angrily just moments before he rushed at the photographer. Titled The Ghost and the Darkness, the photo has an incredible backstory behind it.
According to Saeed, he had been driving through a safari park in Lahore, Pakistan in 2012 when he spotted a lion a short distance away. He got out of his car, inched forward to sit on the ground, and began snapping photos with his camera and 500mm telephoto lens. Alerted by the sound of the shutter, the male lion suddenly focused his attention on the photographer and prepared to pounce. Saeed managed to run into the open door of his car and slam the door shut just as the aggressive feline charged at him.
Saeed tells us that at the time, he was focused on trying to get the perfect shot in that moment, but as soon as he captured it, he made sure to get himself out of harm's way. Although the experience was a little risky, it sure made for a great story and some terrific photos.
Photos courtesy of Atif Saeed