This is Baheem. He is a thireteen year old male Malayan Tiger who lives at the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona. The zoo also has a female Malayan tiger named Sita, who is one month older than Baheem.
Malayan tigers (Panthera tigris jacksoni) come from Asia. Their stripes, like our fingerprints, are unique to each tiger. They are solitary animals, only coming together when the females are interested in mating.
Even in the confines of a zoo setting, Baheem is hard to photograph because he likes to pace. I’m sure there are times when he sits still, but every time I’m there he is on the move. Between that and the safety bars at the front of his enclosure, getting a good photo can be tricky.
A relatively fast shutter is essential, since he’s always moving. The fast shutter also forces one to use a wide aperture, creating shallow depth of field. That way, the plants and other things between the camera and him will be rendered as soft, undistracting elements in the photograph. This is a useful practice with any photos of wildlife, whether in a zoo setting or not.
Photo copyrighted. Any use requires licensing from Martha Lochert.