Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright

Time To Earn Your Stripes

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


No, it’s not Sher Khan, the fearsome tiger from Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book - but it’s just about the closest you’ll ever find to a genuine, fair dinkum tiger in the concrete jungle that is a modern metropolis.

I shot this on a Singapore street in December 2007. The huge pavement cafe umbrella was dripping wet from the downpour and I shot this frame specifically to capture the residual raindrops on the dark blue surface. But you can clearly see the word "Tiger" on the left and the corporate emblem for Tiger beer on the right.

When I was a kid growing up in India, a friend of my Dad’s was a shikari, or hunter. And one of my earliest memories of visiting their home was the sight of a tiger-skin, beautifully prepared by a taxidermist from the pelt of the unfortunate animal that he had shot.

Its glassy eyes seemed to fix me as a target and its fangs were so frightening that I could never bring myself to touch them. Now, of course, tigers are a protected species in India and I don’t think there’d be many recreational hunters who would display the cured skin of a big cat.

In my childhood and through to my late teens, we used to spend part of our winter holidays at a place called Hazaribagh - which in Hindi literally means the place of a thousand tigers.

Just the kind of place I’d love to go back to - armed with nothing more lethal than my camera.

This last shot was an advertisement painted on the side of a bus and I thought the colours were great as it went past me - so I had to take a quick shot while it was on the move. It was an interesting exercise, because I tried to compose the shot to exclude other vehicles and pedestrians.

Not often you see a tiger in the city.


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27 comments:

TheWritersPorch said...

As Always, Great Shots David !
Happy Valentine's !
Carol

JOVIT said...

Your shots are great.

Poutalicious said...

Amazing that you were able to capture this photo as the bus went barreling through the city.

Carolina said...

Nice photos David! Very original again.

jinksy said...

Just remember never to catch one by his tail...or in your case, tale, even.

introspection said...

Hi David, Nice shot; though I would have preferred to see the royal beast himself. I belong to a family who were shikaris, (long time ago) and I have been around the jungles of Satpuraas - forests near Nagpur. BTW, bagh does mean tiger, but it also means a garden. wondering if Hazaribagh was named after 1000 gardens or 1000 tigers.

Maggie May said...

Very original shots of tigers in the city.

Was half expecting you to say that you'd run into one on a safari trek & jumped out to photograph it, just as you did with the grizzy in the Yukon!

ArneA said...

Staying Singapore for some years of course we had Tiger as part og our daily consumes, but we also liked the Anchor Beer
But that is may be more RuneE´s department and not Critter

CrazyCath said...

Brilliant shots. Yet again, you do it for critters without a critter!

I love cats of all sizes, but I doubt I would touch the fangs of a tiger either. When I was a young child it was foxes and I wouldn't touch them - alive or dead!

Lavinia said...

Happy Valentines Day Dave, from my end of the world all the way to yours.....

Anna said...

I really enjoyed this, David. I especially like that last shot of the bus.

Papoosue said...

Come on over and collect an Award :-) Susan xx

Papoosue said...

Come on over and collect an Award :-) Susan xx

Anonymous said...

Great blog! Your pics are so unique!

sandyshares said...

and not Tony the - either..Lots of new tigers.Heat????

Manz said...

"fair dinkum tiger in the concrete jungle that is a modern metropolis." made my mind bring up the image in the movie 12 Monkeys. If I was ever to see a real tiger walking the streets, I'd want to hope that I better have my camera handy! With a zoom lens, as I think I'd want to keep my distance. Lazing around the front of QVB in Sydney would be an interesting image.

Original images again, along with a nicely penned post.

Meredith Teagarden(The Things we Carried) said...

Fun shots and way of telling about your work.

Denise said...

Another very imaginative critter post. Great story, great shots. I would love to go to India one day and see the real tiger.

Tootie said...

Very clever and cute!

Carol said...

David,
I enjoyed seeing the Tiger Beer ads. We hosted a S'pore reunion of friends 3 years ago and I tried my best to get some "Tiger", but no go! By the way, if ever you publish your memoirs of India etc. let me know1 I visited your family site and loved the reading.
Colleen's mom,
Carol

twobarkingdogs said...

Wonderful photos as always!




I am a Camera Critter Fool this week with three blog entries!

http://www.twobarkingdogs.wordpress.com
http://www.onevintagephoto.wordpress.com
http://www.brownstudies.wordpress.com

Indrani said...

Loved your take on the CC!

The figures of tiger census for the past few years in India is very disappointing.

Barbara Martin said...

Tigers are my favourite animals after horses, then elephants. Hope you had a nice Valentine's day.

ChrisC and JonJ said...

Now that's what I call a good kind of critter! Cute shot!

Dianne said...

I love the umbrella - the angle, the drops of water are wonderful

Babooshka said...

Lateral thinking again always works for me.

Misty Dawn said...

Your creativity is endless... that's one of the things I love most about you (along with your wit).