Anyone who has a pet cat they've tried to photograph will know that they're not the most obedient or willing models you'll ever work with and it would seem that their bigger relative can also be just as uncooperative.
National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore was tasked with capturing a perfect shot of a tiger at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo which on paper, sounds rather straightforward but as often is the case when animals are involved, it wasn't.
When capturing any portrait, a neutral background that isn't distracting is often the easiest to work with and Joel's team would seem to think the same, covering walls with black paper before letting the big cat in. Of course, the tiger didn't head for the 'studio' straight away as that would be far too easy so the team tried to entice their photographic subject with meat chunks (a bit like you and I would with our own pets only we'd probably use a toy). The tiger was interested in the food placed through the bars but still refused to stand where Joel needed it to be so after two and a half hours of trying, a zookeeper brought out a secret ingredient: Prada perfume.
A bit like we do with free perfume samples in duty-free, the tiger covered itself in the scent which gave Joel plenty of time to capture his perfect tiger shot.
Even though we've shared the video, we're not suggesting that you should take perfume bottles to the zoo the next time you want to try a bit of wildlife photography as this will not only upset the animals, but it will probably see staff removing you from the premises too.
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17 Feb 2017 7:04PM
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17 Feb 2017 9:01pm