October 1, 2013

Panther, Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo

Photograph by Joel Sartore

This Month in Photo of the Day: The Power of Photography

Rescued as a kitten after being abandoned in the wild by its mother in 2007, Calusa, nicknamed "Lucy," is one of no more than 165 surviving Florida panthers.

Sartore photographed Lucy as part of his Photo Ark project, through which he is documenting thousands of rare species. "Half of all the species on Earth could be headed irreversibly toward extinction by 2100. Not if I can help it," Sartore says. "That's the idea behind the Photo Ark: getting the public to look these creatures in the eye, then care enough to save them while there's still time."

See more pictures from the October 2013 feature story "Building the Ark."

Read our interview with Joel Sartore about his Photo Ark project »
Get tips on photographing wildlife »

87 comments
Jill Huang
Jill Huang

"save the ones we may never see again."

M. Hay
M. Hay

What a face.   We HAVE to save our animals we share planet with.

Karlie Menyweather
Karlie Menyweather

How gentle he looks. The time will come when we can live with no fear of the beautiful big cats. Certainly deserves photo of the month. Well done.

Kieth La Quata
Kieth La Quata

wild life is one of my top priorities among my interest

Gary Conn
Gary Conn

Lucy the Pantherby Joel Sartore, king of the animal portraits

BigCat paradise. BigCat lovers adore these images Joel Sartore presents!

What makes this portrait photograph a so sublime animal image? The technicality of it.

Her head and shoulders are lit with a soft white bright light to give her a natural visual image.

Lucy's cat face is focused in the short depth-of-field. Her head and the ears are blurred.

The panther's eyes, snout, mouth and the whiskers are focused sharply.

The cat nose is moist; you can sense its quiet breath and purr.

This is a very transparent, very realistic, very visual animal photograph.

———

— Gary Conn

George Tarbay
George Tarbay

Awesome pictures !  The black or white backgrounds really focus your attention on the animal. I love some of their expressions also

Dwayne Schnell
Dwayne Schnell

Nice panther - they're the same as cougar/mountain lion - right? Beautiful (but dangerous) cat.

Barbara Ewart
Barbara Ewart

Thank you for documenting these incredible animals. I'll look forward to checking in each day to see what your next choice will be. I just pray we, as humans, will recognize that the loss of even just one of these unique creatures affects us all in some way or other. 

Gary Conn
Gary Conn

Joel Sartore is a master of the animal portrait.  Big Cat lovers adore the image Joe presents! 

What makes this a great image?  It is the technicality.  

Joel illuminates the cat with a soft, bright, white light.  A short depth of field focuses the cat's face:  head and ears are blurred;  eyes, snout, mouth and the whiskers are focused sharply.

The cat's nose is moist and you can sense its quiet breath and purr.  This is a very transparent, very visual animal photograph.

—  Gary 

C. Hamada
C. Hamada

She needs no brush, no comb, no haircut, though! What a beautiful creature nature creates!

Monica G.
Monica G.

This photograph took my breath away, WOW! 

Diane Mia
Diane Mia

No! There is no beauty in a tortured soul. Her majesty is gone, her glory no more. My heart cries for her freedom. 

Arlyn Tibule
Arlyn Tibule

she is so beautiful, I wish I could touch her...

Niladri Das
Niladri Das

despite the well known cruel nature of Panther, these eyes looks like filled with sorrow and a silent begging: this is my world too, let me live !

Tex Vel
Tex Vel

Now, this is the face of a panther.....Beautiful 

Susan McConnell
Susan McConnell

Thank you Joel for the Photo Ark project, and for this gorgeous eye-to-eye image.

Barbara Dunn
Barbara Dunn

I live in the heart of panther country here in southwest Florida. This photo is absolutely amazing, and brought tears to my eyes, as I love these animals so very much. I had a Panther sighting once when I was driving through Rookery Bay Reserve, as it crossed the road right in front of me! It was amazing, as very few people get a glimpse of these creatures here. Let's do all we can to preserve these magnificent cats, as this is their home too!

rose b.
rose b.

Such a beautiful animal it so sad that in the wild they are so misunderstood by so many.

D F.
D F.

Just a beautiful photograph of a beautiful creature.  Perfect clarity.  

RAUL GONZALEZ
RAUL GONZALEZ

WHAT A BEAUTIFUL FACE!!!, PLEASE HELP CONSERVE THESE MAJESTIC FELINES!!

Leyla R.
Leyla R.

This portrait is amazing

Peggy Dietrich
Peggy Dietrich

I believe 2/3 of all species will be gone by 2100...between habitat loss from over-population, killing for fun or food....far too many humans no longer care about animals. We can't treat each other with love and respect....animals are thought of as even less in value....

Janice H.
Janice H.

There really aren't any words perfect enough to describe how this pictured touched me!         It is so moving and beautiful......and sad.... to think about these or any other animals becoming extinct in the future.     I commend you, Joel Sartore and your Photo Ark project for your interest and all you are doing in this regard.       Thank you.

RAUL GONZALEZ
RAUL GONZALEZ

@Peggy Dietrich SAD, BUT TRUE! IT'S A SHAME SINCE IN MY VIEW ANIMALS DESERVE TO LIVE MORE THAN THE MAJORITY OF HUMANS!

M. Botha
M. Botha

@Peggy Dietrich The difference is that humans can speak for themselves and animals can't. Human's can step up and change their situation, animals unfortunatly can't

Special Offers

  • multiproduct_email_100x75_jancover.jpg

    National Geographic

    Subscribe to National Geographic magazine and save. Print and digital editions available.

Shop National Geographic