ON THE TRAIL OF BIG CATS
From trekking India’s Himalaya in search of rare snow leopards and stalking the elusive jaguar through Latin American jungles to chronicling the nocturnal activities of the “American lion” or cougar, award-winning photographer Steve Winter ventures far and wide to come face-to-face with his subjects. This is no easy task: many big cat species are in danger of extinction, so they have good reason to avoid humans.
Endangered, wild, and unpredictable, caution is required in the presence of these felines, and negotiating their habitats can be dangerous. Winter has been charged by rhinos and stuck in quicksand. He’s had mishaps with remote-controlled cameras and captured more than his share of hikers with his camera trap on a Southern California hillside before catching his memorable shot of a cougar under the iconic “Hollywood” sign. Throughout it all, Winter’s mission is to share the beauty of big cats and work to save them.
“The arts help us understand ourselves as human beings. If you look at how we’ve ever documented our existence, it’s all through an art form.”
-Eric Olmscheid, Director of Programming and Education