Another Rut Goes By …

Fallow Buck – ISO 1000; 50-140mm + 1.4x TC; f/4; 1/180 sec (click image to view larger size)

… AND another year!

I can’t believe a whole year went by since my last post, how did that happen?

Sadly, I missed a lot of the rut this year, and some of the best conditions, due to other commitments. But I did manage a few outings and some decent shots.

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My Favourite(s) This Year

A Magical Autumn Morning – ISO 1000; 50-140mm + 1.4x TC; f/5.6; 1/80 sec (click image to view larger size)

The annual deer rut in Richmond Park this year was superb! Probably my most enjoyable ever.

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All Geared Up For The Autumn Rut

Red Deer Stag – ISO 1000; 50-140mm + 1.4x TC; f/4; 1/280 sec (click image to view larger size)

It’s that time of year again when the male deer are looking magnificent ahead of the autumn rut (breeding season).

As usual, I’ve been out in Richmond Park a few times over the last couple of weeks, getting “in the zone” so to speak, with my photography. I always like to get in some practise before the main event, making sure my equipment is functioning and my technique is on the ball (steadiness, focusing, that sort of thing).

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Snow!

This stag has recently lost one of his antlers, the other will also drop off soon. With red deer, this happens naturally around the end of winter and they take until July to regrow.

Snow is scarce in southern Britain. Checking through my archives, it’s been around eight years since I captured images in a decent snowfall. So I was excited when the “Beast from the East” (a Siberian weather system heading our way) was forecast to bring us unusually heavy snow.

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The Rut

This fight was over in about 5 seconds!

This is a short post purely to share some images.

I’ve spent several mornings in Richmond Park over the last six weeks or so, mainly to photograph the deer during the autumn rut – the time of year when red deer stags and fallow deer bucks fight for dominance and the right to mate with the female hinds and does respectively.

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Back off!

Back Off! – ISO 200; 196mm; f/4; 1/800 sec (click image to view larger size)

A couple of us were enjoying photographing some red deer towards the end of a photo walk in Richmond Park when I took the image above.

We’d had dull conditions to start, no sign of the sun at sunrise, quite windy and a heavy downpour during which we had to shelter under the trees, but the sun appeared eventually giving us some better light. There had been a lot of deer activity with this being the Autumn rut – plenty of bellowing and running back and to, with the larger stags fending off the younger males who were trying marauding tactics, running into the group of hinds to try and split them up and take a few away, some with success but mostly not. The odd hind slipped away by themselves, tempted by the bellowing and strutting of another male nearby, who would quickly run over to round her up.

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Deer Photography – Part 1: Stealth

Red deer stag with spring antler growth – 140mm with 1.4x extender (196mm equivalent); ISO 400; 1/950 sec; f/4 (click image to view larger size)

Over the past few years, I’ve photographed the deer in Richmond Park on many occasions, so I thought I’d write some articles that may provide useful information to other photographers who might be interested.

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