Daily US Times: To photograph one of the rarest creatures on Earth you have to be remarkably lucky and incredibly skilled. But Sergey Gorshkov is clearly both – as demonstrated by his stunning picture of a Siberian, or Amur, tiger deep in the forests of Russia’s Far East, which has just won him the title of Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
In the image, the female tiger is seen embracing a tree, rubbing herself against the bark to leave her scent and mark territory in Land of the Leopard National Park.
WPY chair of judges Roz Kidman-Cox says: “The lighting, the colours, the texture – it’s like an oil painting.”
“It’s almost as if the tiger is part of the forest,” she told BBC News.
”Her tail blends with the roots of the tree. The two are one.”
All the more extraordinary is that the image was taken by camera-trap. The equipment was set up in the forest and left, waiting to trigger automatically when a tiger came by.
Of course, the photographer had to know where he would be most likely to frame the animal – and that’s the skill of an experienced wildlife photographer matters.
Eastern Russia’s tigers probably now number only a few hundred individuals and were hunted to near-extinction and. And with their prey – mostly wild boar and deer – also diminished, it means the Amurs must range over vast distances to find food.
It all adds to the difficulty of securing any sort of picture, never mind one that looks as impressive as Sergey Gorshkov’s.
But the camera-trap that took the image was left in the field for 10 months before its memory card with its precious image file was recovered.
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