Taiga Tiger in the Night

Sergey Gorshkov's Image

Sergey had never set eyes on a wild tiger when he resolved to photograph one in the east of Russia. He found his ideal setting, minus the cat, and hid his camera on a tree. A few days later, a young Amur, or Siberian, tiger gave Sergey the portrait he had hoped for, the colours of its coat harmonising with the surroundings.

Russia’s remote eastern taiga forests, or ‘snow forests’, are this cat’s northernmost reach, home to the Amur tiger. There is a small population in neighbouring China and it is uncertain whether there are any left in North Korea. While the number of these tigers in Russia dropped to around 20 or 30 in the 1930s, it has grown following conservation and a ban on poaching.

Behind the lens

Sergey Gorshkov

Sergey Gorshkov


Sergey's early years were spent in a Siberian village, but it was in his 30s that he discovered photography as a way to re-engage with nature. He sold his business and took up photography, determined to record the richness of Russia's wilderness. He is widely published, has four books to his name and is a National Geographic contributor. He has been a regular winner since 2007.

Image details

  • Nikon Z7
  • 24–70mm f4.5 lens at 33.5mm
  • 1/60 sec at f5.6  •   ISO 320  •   Cognisys camera-trap system + two Nikon SB-900 flashes
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