Capturing the Big Cat

National Geographic's George Steinmetz takes the wildlife camera trap into the digital age.

Capturing-the-Big-Cat-A-dress-rehearsal-with-Stei

A dress rehearsal with Steinmetz as stand-in.

Capturing-the-Big-Cat-A-shot-of-an-interloping-ba

A shot of an interloping barn owl.

Capturing-the-Big-Cat-The-final-image-shot-with

The final image, shot with the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT and an EF 17-35mm f/2.8L lens, at ISO 1600 in RAW mode, with an exposure of 30 seconds at f/2.8 and off-camera flash.

Capturing-the-Big-Cat-Steinmetz-tests-a-second-ca

Steinmetz tests a second camera trap location, on a path near the watering hole.

Capturing-the-Big-Cat-Steinmetz-and-a-mountain-li

Steinmetz and a mountain lion trade places at the second camera trap location.

Capturing-the-Big-Cat-A-mountain-lion-at-the-seco

A mountain lion at the second camera trap location.

Capturing-the-Big-Cat-The-National-Geographic-Soc

The National Geographic Society’s own Wildlife Motion Detection Camera

Capturing-the-Big-Cat-The-photographer-s-diagram

The photographer’s diagram of his shooting setup.