Britta Jaschinski. Out of the Ashes.

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Out of the Ashes, Cheetah, Tanzania, East Africa

I arrived in Ndutu Conservation Area one week after a huge bushfire and could still smell ash and cinders in the air. Sadly a huge number of majestic old acacia trees had perished.

The environmental impact of these fires is enormous. Many small creatures can’t hide and flee and there were numerous whitened tortoise shells -- evidence of the tremendous heat this uncontrolled bushfire produced.

In the following days I saw disorientated impala and dikdik wandering around without cover, with nowhere to hide. And then, a cheetah appeared on the blackened soil. This disastrous fire must have been a windfall for large cats. But the cheetah looked unsettled and alienated from his habitat – almost ghostly. I took the photo and then watched as he ‘melted’ into the background.

The image earned me the grand title of the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2010. It was a controversial image at the time - people either absolutely loved or hated it. Now it features in books and presentations across the globe and is regarded as one of the most influential wildlife photos. First ever woman to win that title and there was a German newspaper that read: ‘Woman scoops up Big Nature Award with blurry photo'.

Known for her unique style of photojournalism, Britta Jaschinski has won numerous international awards. Her investigative images and multimedia shows can be hard-hitting and yet they are hauntingly beautiful and always inspiring. Jaschinski is the co-founder of Photographers Against Wildlife Crime™, an international group of photographers and journalists who have joined forces to use their iconic images and powerful words, to help bring an end to the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetime. She is the editor- in-chief of The Evidence Project - a campaign to inform the public how all life on earth is interconnected and interdependent. Jaschinski was born and raised in Germany and is currently based in London, UK.

Follow Britta on Instagram @britta.jaschinski.photography.


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