George Shiras, Lynx, Loon Lake, Ontario, Canada, 1902 © National Geographic Creative Archives.
George Shiras, Three white-tailed deer, Michigan, circa 1893-1898 © National Geographic Creative Archives.
A female deer sits on the river banks along Lake Superior as a canoe passes her by, a kerosine lamp lighting the way. In the boat sits George Shiras, a lawyer by day who come nightfall, flees into the mist-shrouded wilderness in search of the many furry souls who run hither and thither across the shadowy terrain. The year is 1889, and Shiras is doing something no one thus far in the history of photography has dared attempt: he’s documenting the midnight rituals of wild animals.