Day 261 – Red Deer

During the course of my 365 I have shared with you a variety of photos of New Forest Deer – there are several species that are free roaming in the New Forest and last night I was able to photograph a herd of Red Deer, which are the largest deer that can be found in the National Park – they were grazing in the early evening on an open area on forest so I got as close as I could.

I had my 28-300mm lens with me, was hand holding and I knew that to separate the Red Deer from the busy background it was essential to use a shallow depth of field – the tonal range was very similar, so I really need to ensure I had a clear focal difference between the deer (mid range) to the trees behind. I choose to use Aperture priority mode so that the camera could select the appropriate shutter speed, and auto ISO – although I have restricted how high the auto iso can go in the camera settings.

The results of the shoot are most likely to only feature on my web site and the ISO particles don’t distract when I am sharing small images, and as having the deer sharp was the most important factor, I was happy to work with that.

Red Deer - ISO1250, F5.6, 1/400sec
Red Deer – ISO1250, F5.6, 1/400sec

The Red Deer were on a slope in the distance – they spotted me straight away – so I grabbed a shot… I wanted to move closer so that I could loose the featureless sky, but I wanted to go home with at least one image – and in this image you can see the deer are below me with the hill between us, as you can’t see all of them.

Red Deer - ISO2000, F5.6, 1/400 sec
Red Deer – ISO2000, F5.6, 1/400 sec

They stayed and I was able to move around the open area keeping my distance. There was quite a large herd of deer but taking them as a group I felt was less interesting, focusing on less deer gave you a lot more to look at.

Red Deer - ISO2000, F5.6, 1/500 sec
Red Deer – ISO2000, F5.6, 1/500 sec

In my composition challenges we have looked at taking photo of 3 objects, evenly spacing the objects and how that can add interest – I wonder if these three have been reading my blog – they posed perfectly – making eye contact with the viewer and all on a similar focal plain.

Red Deer - ISO2000, F5.6, 1/400 sec
Red Deer – ISO2000, F5.6, 1/400 sec

A different group of three, and the young Red Deer helps give scale to the image, I just wish the two does on the right were slightly more spread out.

Red Deer - ISO3200, F5.6, 1/400sec
Red Deer – ISO3200, F5.6, 1/400sec

This is a close up if one of the red deer doe’s –  the moment I capture the image the deer licked her lips – I think this add’s interest – she is looking at me, almost being cheeky and if you look close enough you can see flies on teh same focal plain caught in the early evening light.

Red Deer - ISO2000, F5.6, 1/400sec
Red Deer – ISO2000, F5.6, 1/400sec

The two deer together on different focal plains wok really well for a square crop ideal fr Instagram. I like how the nearest deer is looking almost guarding the smaller one behind who appears totally relaxed.

Red Deer - ISo1600. F5.6, 1/400 sec
Red Deer – ISo1600. F5.6, 1/400 sec

My final image – the back of five deer – I selected an odd number, although I wish they were all separate from one another.  the tails of deer are very distinctive – you often see their white bottoms flashing in the distance as you miss the shot. When I started taking animal pictures I often had the bottom as the focal point … but here one of the deer has looked back and I feel that add’s so much more interest into the image, I therefore experimented with a tighter crop and changed it into black and white.

Red Deer - ISo1600. F5.6, 1/400 sec - Cropped and turned into Black and White.
Red Deer – ISo1600. F5.6, 1/400 sec – Cropped and turned into Black and White.
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