Dec 4, 2015

National Geographic selects Wapiti photographer's image as a Top Shot

“There’s nothing quite like the first snow of the season to fill your eyes with wonder,” said photographer Sandy Sisti of Wapiti.

As snow gently fell in Yellowstone National Park this autumn, Sisti photographed a grizzly cub surveying the scene — a bear fittingly known by wildlife photographers as “Snow.”

"Wonder" Photo courtesy Sandy Sisti,
“I know I was excited to see the snow falling and can almost imagine this little grizzly cub felt the same way as he watched his home transform into a winter wonderland,” Sisti wrote in a description of the photograph.

Sisti’s image of Snow, which she titled “Wonder,” drew the attention of National Geographic editors.

Out of thousands of images uploaded to Your Shot — an online National Geographic photo community — editors pick a dozen of the best images each day.

Last week, the editors picked Sisti's image as one of their 12 favorite photos and online voters named it their favorite.

“I felt incredibly honored and humbled to have one of my images selected as a Top Shot by National Geographic,” Sisti said Wednesday.

Sisti said the photograph is particularly special to her for many reasons.

Snow is a cub of the grizzly sow known as Raspberry, she said.

“I've been photographing Raspberry since she was a tiny cub growing up along the shore of Yellowstone Lake," Sisti said.

Sisti said she felt "incredibly honored and humbled" to earn the recognition from National Geographic.

Raspberry is now 8 years old, and Sisti said she was very excited to see the bear emerge with her first set of cubs this spring.

“Unfortunately, the smaller of the two cubs didn't make it, but this little fellow, known as ‘Snow’ because of his light coloration, seems to be thriving,” she said.

Sisti captured the image of Snow near Sylvan Lake just a few days before Yellowstone's East Entrance closed for the season, she said.

“Raspberry and Snow had been foraging near the roadside for most of October, but once the snow began to fall, the pair left the road and headed to their den,” Sisti said. “I was sorry to see them go, but look forward to seeing them again next year.”

Sisti lives in Wapiti and often photographs wildlife and scenic vistas in Yellowstone and the surrounding area. Earlier this year, she was featured in Outdoor Photographer, a leading publication for nature and wildlife photographers.

Sisti grew up in Long Island, New York, and made her first trip to Yellowstone in 1994. She quickly developed what she calls a “weird, crazy obsession" with America’s first national park. Sisti then searched for a job close to Yellowstone and moved to the area.

To view more of her images, visit or follow her Facebook page, called Wild at Heart Images-Wildlife and Nature Photography.


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