Due to a mutant gene, white tigers lack pheomelanin; the pigment that turns fur orange. In 1951, the first white tiger cub was caught in India and brought back to the Maharajah’s Palace. He was named Mohan and fathered many cubs. All the white tigers left in the world are descendants of Mohan and all live under human care.To take a portrait of these cats is akin to delving into a mythological story book. There is a visual disconnect with anything I have previously experienced. It is the stuff of fantasy.
My goal was simply to do justice to the animal and, if possible, highlight the pale blue eyes. These tigers are extremely dangerous and I knew that I needed the best camera and lens set up to compress distance and not lose detail. I also knew that I would need several days to have my moment of a head on encounter. When it finally happened, I was lucky with the flat light. I also recognize that this picture could not have been taken 10 years ago; cameras have improved so much.