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).
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.
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.
Bellow in the mist – 300mm; ISO 100; 1/90 sec; f/11 (click image to view larger size)
Richmond Park is a wonderful location, especially in the autumn when the Red Deer rut is on. I’m sure most wildlife photographers would admit that the combination of rutting deer, mist and soft dawn light is definitely a winner!
On the morning I captured this image, the mist was so thick you could not see the deer. Luckily there was plenty of bellowing, so following the sound I knew I would find them easily enough. The hard part was avoiding walking into them!