A British photographer captured these breathtaking wildlife shots – coming face to face with a lion.Jonathan Griffiths held his camera just inches away from tigers, bears and cougars as he took the photographs.
In one image a lion demonstrates its raw power by swiping at his camera and in another shot a tiger leaves condensation on his lens with its breath.
The 32-year-old endured bitter -40 C (-40F) temperatures as he gained the trust of each animal and got them used to his scent.
The father-of-one enticed them with meat – mainly chicken – to photograph them close-up while in Montana, high up in the Rockies.
Mr Griffiths, a currency trader from Egham, Surrey, only got a camera two years ago as a birthday present from his fiancee with the intention of photographing their newborn son.
However, after spending time at the local zoo, Jonathan decided he wanted to take pictures of powerful predators in the open and researched the best places to spot them.
He flew to Montana, where he stayed in a lodge by a wildlife breeding reserve.
A guide stood by his side as he came face to face with some of nature’s most dangerous animals and captured them in intimate detail.
Mr Griffiths said: “At first I was quite nervous being so close to the animals as I did not know what to expect and they are wild.
“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.
“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.
“It was was just mean and did not like humans full stop. 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.”