Seeing the deer yesterday reminded me that I had not captured some good deer shots for a while, so today I thought I would pop over to the New Forest Deer Sanctuary at Boldrewood in the New Forest to see if I could get some new stock images for my Explore the New Forest web site and facebook page. I choose today as it was slightly overcast and this really helps, as where the sanctuary is located the deer can be sat in quite harsh sunlight making photograpy a challenge.
The deer sanctuary is a popular spot in the New Forest for visitors, there is a deer observatory platform and some when between 12.30-2.30, September to April – the deer are fed in the enclosed fields by the New Forest keepers, so that is a high chance of seeing some.
The majority of visitors stand at the viewing platform and look down on the deer that (if you are lucky) are grazing in the field beyond – there are three fields… so they are not always close to the viewing platform.
When visitors come and explore the New Forest, they often say they can not see any deer – sometimes you have to look closely as they are great at hiding in the grass – there are at least three deer in this photo.
I have found that the viewing platform is not necessarily the best view point, and I am amazed at home few people move their feet and walk around the area to see if they can get a better view. Today I did. he change in angle meant I was looking up into the deer fields, rather than down on them.
I love the natural framing of this shot – both deer are looking at me … I did have the photo buddies with me, so they were curious about them and were watching us watching them, but by moving just a tiny amount I was able to use some foliage as a natural frame.
Timing is everything. It is really easy to take lots of photos of the deer’s distinctive backside – but it is when they are looking at you that you have a much stronger shot. I was handholding the camera so that I could move quickly, and as it was cloudy today I set the ISO to 800, so that I could keep the shutter speed relatively quick and so I avoided camera shake.
Taking photos of the deer in the deer fields in relatively easy compared to the deer you may come across on a forest walk, like yesterday – they are still the same wild deer, but they know that the deer fields are out of bounds for humans… so when you spot one in the nearby woodland – you feel you have achieved something special.
It really was a lucky walk today – luckily I walk with the camera in my hand and about 2.5km further on on my walk I looked up and suddenly saw a stag in an incredible natural archway … I saw him just as he saw me … and he did not wait around for long… just long enough for these images.
My next challenge is to choose my favorite – maybe you can help me by suggesting which one below … (I have numbered them, to make it easier) and print it out … so which one would you print and why?