Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, India
The Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris) and the Indian Long-billed Vulture (Gyps indicus) are two of the most endangered wild animals of the Indian subcontinent, pushed to this grave status by a combination of several human depredations. This juvenile vulture, having lost its way from the nest, found itself in the waters of a lake in the renowned Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in central India, suddenly brought face-to-face with an adolescent tigress, who merely beheld it as an object of curiosity and play before letting it go on its way. And although the vulture's vulnerability and the cub’s security made for a startling contrast, both would have to face common threats later in life, when they must confront fiends they cannot see, where the odds do not level out and survival is more a bargain than a right.
Levels, contrast, saturation, sharpening and colour balance
Nikon D600 digital SLR camera; Tokina 12-24mm f/4 lens