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Final EditThe image we rescued from the cutting room floor.

Final Edit Editor Illustrations editor Dennis Dimick explains how a gesture saved the photo.

Cut It?
"The composition of this image was more complex than the one we ultimately published," says illustrations editor Dennis Dimick. "The animals tended to blend together and into the background. We would have needed much more space than we had available to do the image justice."

Or Keep It?
"We looked at the pictures that almost made it into the final layout, the ones we found ourselves on the fence about and that were actually in at one time," Dennis continues. "I liked the photo because the gesture of the little viscacha in the foreground seemed to reveal its personality. Joel photographed it with its tail in the air as it stretched. That made this a pretty appealing image."

—Julia Connors

August Final Edit
Photograph by Joel Sartore To send this image as a postcard click here.

Home Stretch

Viscacha on the rocks: Just what photographer Joel Sartore needed. He snapped about 400 pictures of this mother and baby viscacha, a relative of the chinchilla, in Chile's Atacama Desert. "I've been known to shoot 20 or 30 rolls of one subject," Sartore says. "There's a lot of time between good photographic opportunities, so when you get one, you tend to smother it." In this case only two frames caught the baby in full stretch. This particular image was Joel's favorite, but ultimately a portrait of a lone adult was chosen for the article. "The animal on page 66 was lighter than the background and popped out," says illustrations editor Dennis Dimick. "And its illumination and simple composition made the image work at a small size."

—Jennifer Steinberg Holland

Check out Atacama Desert, the feature story for which this photo was originally taken.
Final Edit Photographer Zoom In on more images by photographer Joel Sartore.

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