Sunday, March 20, 2011

The shot of a lifetime

There's an exclusive club for photographers that not many get to join.

It's reserved for the lucky few who get the shot - or shots - that every photographer longs for. It's for those who have experienced the exhilaration of capturing a once-in-a-lifetime image.

(I was admitted to The Club almost 20 years ago, but that's another story.)

Florida wildlife photographer Heather Green is the newest member of The Club. Welcome Heather!

This past January, Heather saw and photographed something that only a handful of Floridians will ever be fortunate enough to see - let alone photograph - the Florida panther.

Jeff Klinkenberg of the St. Petersburg Times tells her amazing story in this weekend's paper.
Taking a good picture of a deer or an owl is harder than it sounds, but at least deer and owls are common. The photographer who blows her first shot knows she'll eventually get another chance.

Serious wildlife photographers, though, aim higher than that. They all dream about the one flesh-and-blood creature that is almost as spectral as a unicorn: the spectacularly camera-shy Florida panther.

It's possible that more people have won the lottery than seen a panther.

The chance of having your camera with you, and getting a focused, well-composed photograph when the panther shows its whiskers?

Astronomically small.
The state has about 120 panthers now, clinging to life in the southwest hinterlands. But most folks live their entire lives within panther territory and never see a big cat or its track.

Heather also wrote about her big cat encounter on her blog back in January. Click here to read it.

And click here to read Jeff's story.



  1. Wow, just wow. What amazing animals. Heather was truly lucky to get such great shots, thanks for spreading them.


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