Tiger Tiger

Discussion in 'Nature & Wildlife' started by Marea, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. Marea

    Marea TPF Noob!

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    I have incredible access to a friend's 'pet' tiger. I plan on taking hundreds of shots to document this gorgeous creature as she plays. I won't post all the shots... but my favorites will go in this thread.

    Please feel free to comment or critique or even offer suggestions or ideas on how to shoot this great cat (keep in mind I have to be on the safe side of a chain link fence (thus getting a clear shot where no fence is blurred into the image is tough).

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    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    awww
    me = very jealous!!

    first off whats the story behind her? "pet" tigers are not that common and must be a tricky animal to keep.
    Is the cat totally wild or does the owner go into the pen with her - that would make for some good photos even if they are not for us here or for the wall its definatly something that your friend would like!

    As for the bars there are a few things you could try:

    First off if you can be there for a long time (I am talking hours) that might help since from these few shots it seems that a new person with a camera is very interesting to the cat (making her approach the bars - making without bar shots impossible). Once she is used to you and your not new and interesting she might retreat further into the pen for a play/sleep/meal and then you can get your shots.

    YOu could also try shooting from a high vantage point on the outside of the pen - maybe from the top of stepladders - not "ideal" wildlife shooting but its an option and could yeald interesting shots.

    Hope the pen is big enough for her.

    Oh and I love the 2nd and 3rd shots :)
     
  3. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Id also like to know the story behind her. Nice series.

    Mark
     
  4. Marea

    Marea TPF Noob!

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    Rather than type the story all out - I'll just post a clipping (it's a convoluted story thus this is much easier! :)

    Vancouver Island man fights to keep pet tiger

    Last Updated: Tuesday, September 9, 2008 | 11:46 AM PT

    CBC News


    A Victoria-area resident says he'll fight in court to keep his new pet tiger after the local municipal council passed a law banning exotic animals.
    David Bennett, a resident of Highlands, announced in August that he intended to bring a two-year-old tiger to live in a special enclosure on his southern Vancouver Island property.
    [​IMG]Suzy the tiger is a two-year-old 150-kilogram Siberian-Bengal cross. (CBC)

    The local council responded by scrambling to pass a bylaw that bans exotic animals.


    Bennett ignored the ban and brought the 150 kilogram tiger to the Highlands early in September.


    The municipal council responded by holding a special in-camera meeting late Monday afternoon.


    Highland Mayor Mark Cardinal said the council has decided to seek an injunction to move Suzy out of the Highlands.


    Now Bennett plans to fight the injunction application in court.


    Bennett said he adopted Suzy in August when her future was looking grim. For personal reasons her previous owner was no longer able to keep her.
    [​IMG]David Bennett watches Suzy the Tiger inside her new pen. (CBC)

    The tiger was bred in captivity by people in the Vancouver film industry, but because she's a Siberian-Bengal cross, she doesn't qualify for most zoo programs.


    With limited options, it came down to selling her for her coat and meat, or bringing her to the $15,000 pen Bennett built for her on his Millstream Road property, he said.


    "Nobody seemed to want her unless they could take her apart and sell pieces of her," said Bennett on Monday.


    Now, he says, Suzy is just another member of the family. "When she sees my light go on at 6:30 in the morning to make coffee, she comes straight to the fence and starts calling for me," said Bennett.


    While Suzy's fate will likely be decided by the courts, in the meantime Bennett said he is getting advice on caring for his young pet from experts at a Colorado sanctuary, who have inspected the enclosure and found it secure and large enough for the animal.
     
  5. Marea

    Marea TPF Noob!

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    This presents a slightly more broad perspectiive:

    Suzy the tiger is famous.
    She isn’t a spokesperson for cereal or gasoline. She’s simply a tiger that happens to be living in the Highlands – a district just northwest of Victoria.
    Her story wavers depending on who you feel more sympathy for: the neighbours who live in fear that the tiger will escape; her owner, Dave Bennett, who spent approximately $15,000 creating a home for Suzy, or the Highlands Council who’s trying to evict Suzy by a controversial bylaw.
    But how should we feel about the tiger herself?


    Currently, her beauty is a symbol of municipal politics, animal rights, land-owner rights and passing bylaws.
    Her eyes hold a personal history full of conflict. Being a tiger bred by a film producer in Vancouver means that Suzy doesn’t qualify to live at a zoo. She isn’t a pure bred, but rather a mix of Siberian and Bengal. She lived near Lake Cowichan until problems arose, forcing her owner to sell her.



    Bennett offered to provide Suzy with a stable existence (one better than a few competing offers to buy her for her pelt). Bennett even went about checking with the city bylaws to construct a proper enclosure, using extra support like deep cement walls so that Suzy couldn’t dig her way out.
    The future looked good for Suzy until the Highlands Council passed a debatable bylaw a few weeks ago, banning residents from keeping some exotic animals.



    One example? Siberian and Bengal tigers.
    In the middle of the drama, the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado, offered to take Suzy.
    Despite concerns about the sanctuary voiced by Bennett and Suzy’s previous owner, it holds several tigers on a much larger and more open property.
    If her best interest was the issue, it would make sense that she would move. Unfortunately, the cost of moving a large tiger like Suzy is not cheap (especially for a man who just spent $15,000 towards building her a house).


    Enter, a hero: Ron Cheeke, owner of the Loghouse Pub on Millstream Road. Cheeke offered to pay for the expensive trip. Still, Bennett declined, confident he can fight the bylaw and win; for Suzy’s sake — right?
    What the future holds for Suzy is unpredictable.



    Whether she stays or goes, animals like her are unpredictable by nature and therefore create an unpredictable environment. Her beauty will be used again and again to get a message across from all parties.
    In the end, Suzy will remain a solitary symbol for what a single person, a community and a municipality can do when forced to focus: it took something as exotic as a tiger to bring out fast-acting passion.
    Imagine what we could do if we worked this way on the issues that tend to fall behind the label of “glamorous.”
    Imagine if we thought everyday people were as important as a tiger.
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    can't think why her being a cross breed would have any effect on the film industry - last time I checked most people can only just tell a tiger from a lion - let alone tell different species apart.
    Though that back history sounds like she would be used to human contact the shots shown so far seem to suggest limited to no human contact now - though one has to respect the fact that such cats can kill a human without any intent to do so (we are rather more fragile)

    As for the guy - well good luck to him against the council! Sounds like typical council action, though I can understand their fears with a dangerous animal, but if the cage is secure then there should be no danger save neglegance (I left the door open).
    All we can hope is that if the council win the case that Suzy is found another home rather than being sold for meat (horrible to read that especially as they are such rare animals)
     
  7. Marea

    Marea TPF Noob!

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    I'll just add my quick two cents worth and then get on with posting more pictures of her.

    Suzy is well fed, well cared for and for a tiger of her circumstance she has a good life. She was bred into captivity for the movie industry and faced death otherwise. She's loved - very loved and you can see the love back. (I know you'll think I'm crazy for saying so, but it's true).

    I think her owner has done a generous and good thing in providing her a safe shelter to call home and applaud him for it.

    What ever happens to Suze, I'll be thankful of every second I've had in her majestic presence.
     
  8. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree marea. If the tiger is happy with her life, is getting good nutritional and mental nourishment (as much as humanly possible), then by all means, let him keep her. I am largely against keeping critically endangered animals (I think that is what shed be categorized under) as pets, but I think this is a special case that needs special attention. I look forward to seeing more pictures of her and Id like to see a photo of her new home also (pen) if thats possible. Very interesting cae to me. Beautiful animal. As long as hes not keeping her just to show her off and he genuinely cares for her, great.

    Mark
     
  9. Marea

    Marea TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for your comments Mark and Overread.

    I look forward to sharing more photos with you! Next post - as promised.. more photos.

    Feel free to edit the shots if you can see that they need something. I'm just a beginning photographer with my trusty Nikon D80 by my side and can use all the help/adivice I can get.

    :) Have a fab day.

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  10. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Pool all frozen over!!

    Must say I rather like that shot - probably the strongest of this latest set with its only problem being that you have the focus in the middle of her body rather than her head - the same goes for shot two = though in that one the more noticable factor is that you have cut of a foot ;)

    First shot is great - but your missing the tops of her eyes - with wildlife about the only stead fast rule is that you focus (as much as you can) on the eyes of the cat - nail the eyes and a lot of the shot work is done ;)
    This is not always easy (centre focus point only work mostly) and can limit you on how you frame a shot.

    honestly I would say work on the focus point of your shots and keep an eye to the edges of the frame - good luck!
     
  11. Marea

    Marea TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009
  12. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    oh 2 more things:

    1) to help prevent the whites in shots from overexposing try the following:
    a) underexpose the shots (exposure compensation) delibratly. This will lessen the chances of the highlights being overexposed.

    b) in addition to underexposing you can use flash to fill the scene so that you retain good exposure of the shot - flash is going to either be hit or miss with the cat, some animals totally ignor it and others hate it. Just keep and eye on her and see how she reacts.

    2) in some areas (top right corner of photo 2 in the last post) you have a hazy area where the bar is affecting the shot. I have found if you selectivly increase the contrast in such areas in editing you can lessen and almost hide the change.
     

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