Digital Photograper - - Contents - PHO­TOG­RA­PHER: nick dale WEB­SITE: nick­dale­pho­tog­ra­ LO­CA­TION: ta­doba And­hari tiger re­serve, in­dia TYPE OF COM­MIS­SION: Com­mer­cial SHOT DE­TAILS: nikon d810 with a nikon AF-S 800mm f5.6e Fl ed Vr lens, 1/1,000 sec at f5.6, iSo 400

Nick Dale ex­plains how his cap­ti­vat­ing tiger shot re­sulted from some cre­ative ex­per­i­men­ta­tion

ABOUT THE SHOT: The big cats al­ways rep­re­sent in­cred­i­ble pho­to­graphic op­por­tu­ni­ties, which may ex­plain why thou­sands of pho­tog­ra­phers at­tend sa­faris and photo tours ev­ery year, just for a glimpse of th­ese ma­jes­tic an­i­mals. How­ever, as with all pop­u­lar sub­jects, this cre­ates chal­lenges when it comes to cap­tur­ing unique per­spec­tives. In this im­age, Nick Dale has ex­pertly em­ployed cre­ative use of ex­po­sure to add vis­ual in­ter­est to his tiger por­trait.

“I went to Band­hav­garh and Ran­tham­bore a few years ago, but I only saw a cou­ple of tigers for about 20 min­utes and didn’t get any good shots,” ex­plains Nick. “I went to Ta­doba on a trip, led by Paul Gold­stein, to try and get the best pos­si­ble chance of sight­ings – we ended up with around 13.” When asked about his thought process when set­ting up this shot, Nick de­scribes what in­spired his light­ing style. “I over­heard Paul tell some­one to un­der­ex­pose by a stop when tak­ing pic­tures of tigers, so I de­cided to ‘go big or go home’! It was a sunny day – around 47 de­grees Centi­grade – but I un­der­ex­posed by two full stops, to give the ap­pear­ance that the tiger was in a cave, with a shaft of light il­lu­mi­nat­ing its head. I took the shot us­ing a Nikon 800mm lens and the prob­lem [with that setup] is lock­ing down fo­cus. Any slight move­ment leaves a soft im­age and none of the other shots I took of this tiger were as sharp as this one.” Nick also took ex­per­i­men­ta­tion to the post-pro­cess­ing stage: “The ini­tial im­age straight out of the cam­era was a bit flat, so I played around with the Blacks, Whites, High­lights and Ex­po­sure. How­ever, I have to give credit to Paul Gold­stein – he asked to use the shot for the 2018 Ex­o­dus cal­en­dar, cropped it and made it a bit darker, with more of a vi­gnette. That in­spired me to do another ver­sion, quite sim­i­lar to his, and this is the fi­nal re­sult.”



Al­though this im­age was a per­sonal project, nick dale takes im­ages on a free­lance ba­sis and sells them through

ex­hi­bi­tions and stock agen­cies

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