Here’s Steve Winter’s incredible image of a cougar and the Hollywood sign


posted Friday, November 15, 2013 at 3:05 PM EDT

Steve Winter / National Geographic

Earlier this year, we talked about photographer Steve Winter, and his incredible year long journey to photograph a cougar in Griffith Park, L.A.. Now National Geographic has published the shots that he took, and they're more amazing than you could believe.

The article reveals some details about Winter's shoot that we hadn't heard before. Like the fact that three of his four remote cameras were stolen, despite being heavily chained and locked up. Or the fact that the famed cougar P22 was essentially trapped in the park by the heavy freeway traffic that runs nearby 24 hours a day.

There's a video talk with Winter in the NatGeo blogpost, which shows off some of the other wildlife (and occasional human) images that Winter's cameras recorded, and even the ones that aren't as intimidating as P22 are incredibly impressive.

But the most amazing thing about the image? He actually shot it twice:

“Everybody was very happy, but I wasn’t happy. We are all our own worst critic or best critic. I went back to L.A. and changed the lighting so a shadow would appear around the cat’s neck so you would not see the collar [as much]. People were just happy that I got it, but then it’s like, we can do better. So I wanted to do better, and I knew I could.”

So Winter tried again, and this time got the lighting just right.

The images are published in the December issue of National Geographic, and they and the article are available to read online.

Steve Winter / National Geographic