You would think that photographing tigers would be enough. That the skill, the thought, the excitement of capturing those beasts would make Mark Evans satisfied. But he understands that there’s so much more you can do with the art than that. In part, his ambition seems to come from a keen awareness of how capture the most out of these beasts. “That’s why I always try to shoot the animals on sand because then the tiniest movement, it tells a tale, you know?” he explains, in this video capturing his work.

He’s not finished. He gets home and trawls through thousands of photos for the best options. Then he perfects them, prints them, and gives himself some time to mull it over. “I stick them on my wall for a bit and just try to come to terms with, where’s the energy?” Evans makes sure that he totally understands the photos, that he’s ready to work with them.

But he doesn’t end there. He could— the photographs are exquisite. But once he becomes completely comfortable and sure of what he wants to create, he etches the images in a way I’ve never seen before. He etches them into leather and gives them a whole new dimension. The process looks kind of insane. He’s there, with a huge leather canvas, and he takes on this massive task with a tiny exactor knife. The thin blade painstakingly works out every tiny detail. This slow build up of layers, capturing every part of the image, gives it a depth that allows it to really come alive.

You can watch him at work, from playing with lions to creating a masterpiece, here:

It’s an amazing spin on traditional photography, one where you can see the love, the labour, and the vision behind every piece. He doesn’t make it easy for himself, but the results Evans achieves are definitely worth it.