The first thing that came to my mind was it is a zoo photograph. Not so surprisingly, many people around here shared the same thought in the very first place. Basuba – an Indochinese tigress from a Thailand Zoo.
So what?? The photograph won the first prize and without doubt it is an unique photograph of a tiger that I have came across. But the zoo factor??
Reason is simple. Since the time I started clicking photographs of animals or precisely wild animals, I am following forums like INW [indianaturewatch.net], Indian Birds [a facebook community] etc. and came across many rules and threads which talks about ethics. Barring posting images of caged animal is one such strong rule.
So like me, many who follow the forums I have mentioned above and as I know many aspiring wildlife photographers in India are part of such forums, started feeling that photographing a zoo animal is somewhat unethical or a not so interesting affair as you can’t post it anywhere and get the “like” and “comments” for your smile.
I am not against those forums, in fact I am also a member of such forums and appreciate their contribution, but yes, I have learn’t not to go for a caged animal from such rules only.
Coming back to the photograph and what Ashley Vincent (the photographer) said, “Which is why I took to observing her more carefully during my visits in the hope of capturing something of a behavioral shot. The opportunity finally presented itself while watching Busaba enjoying her private pool then shaking herself dry. In all humility I have to say that Mother Nature smiled favorably on me that day!”
Getting an unique behavioral shot in open jungle is never easy and mother nature hardly gives you enough opportunity. Photographing a zoo animal might not only give the most unique behavioral shot but also provide a lot of opportunity to know the animal you are photographing.
*the photograph can be found at Nat Geo official site -http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/photo-contest/