A Steve Winter Portfolio
As we are constantly bombarded each and every day with images – we need to find the story of the species and the image that makes us stop and look. Pushing ourselves as image makers is vitally important to generate interest from the public at large – to give them a reason to care about animals deserving of the right to life.” – Steve Winter.
Poachers hold up the paws of a bear they killed in the Hukaung Valley, the world’s largest tiger reserve, located in Myanmar. Poaching for the illegal wildlife trade as well as the cooking pot is taking a huge toll on wildlife.
A camera trap shot of a tiger entering the Patpara nullah in the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, to drink and cool off. Placing cameras at locations that the cat frequents gave us an intimate view into the secret world of the tiger.
Setting camera traps after the monsoon – on the few relatively dry trails that animals will walk on – I relied on park rangers to point out areas of high animal traffic. The result – this incredible shot of two mating rhinos. In what was unusual behaviour, the male in the foreground had been fighting with the female in the background or another male and had blood running down his horn.
How do you photograph an animal you will never see? I never thought I would see the elusive snow leopard though I saw three in the first three days, then not another, in seven months. I had to rely on camera traps – 14 traps in 42 locations over seven months and got 18 images, including this one of the cat hunting after midnight during a late May 2007 snowstorm in the Hemis National Park in Ladakh.
I had tied my boat up to a fallen tree in the river when I saw this jaguar hunting caiman on the river bank in the Pantanal of Brazil. He eventually jumped into the water. At 10 frames per second I was able to get this and other amazing shots.
Nature provides for its own – including protection in the form of camouflage! This tiger moved silently and almost invisibly through the burnt grass of Kaziranga, attempting to hunt elephant calves – though the matriarch of the herd made sure he was unsuccessful.
Religion can have a positive effect on nature. I wanted to illustrate the reverence I had seen in monasteries and how locals had vowed to follow the Dalai Lama’s edict to stop killing or using wild cat body parts. We need the right minds to show us the way.
First published in Sanctuary Asia, Vol XXXIII No. 3, June 2013.