For a few weeks Neil Graham and I had been trying to plan a trip to Richmond Park to photograph the Deer and landscape, but things always seem to get in the way; whether it was just other commitments or snow - we always had to change plans. But, finally, one Sunday afternoon, we found a few hours and jumped in the car and took a surprisingly successful trip to Richmond to take some shots.
I say surprisingly successful, because frankly, sometimes the Deer can be quite dull. They often just walk around grazing. Most of the time they flee the moment they see you too, which can be annoying, even if you are shooting with a Canon 70-200 f2.8 + Canon 1.4x Extender they can be too far for you to fill the frame. What's more at this time of year I half-expected most of the stags to have shed their antlers. However, sometimes you can get really close and get some amazingly detailed shots of them before they run off. Other times they don't run off at all. Then, at certain times of year they'll rut (fight) with their huge overgrown antlers to show the ladies who's the Alpha Male.
Well, this was a good trip because everything just seemed to go our way: Plenty of Deer. Easily found. Numb to our presence and didn't run off. Huge Antlers, and as a bonus - Plenty of rutting. It was like Deer fight Club:
It didn't take long at all, shortly after getting out of the car, grabbing our gear and walking into the forest, the image above is what we saw.
Sometimes, we can walk for half an hour or more before seeing a single Deer. So the fact we were greeted, within minutes, by the site of a couple of rutting stags, was a pleasing site indeed.
Neil and I both have a method of getting closer to the Deer to get our shots: never walk directly toward them, No sudden movements and where possible, keep something between you and the Deer, such as a Tree. This is all in a bid to present yourself as less of a threat to the Deer. Sometimes it works, other times the more skittish Deer to just run off. This day - We were able to get to within a few feet of them:
Going to Richmond in the afternoon did present us with a tighter time limit though; firstly, the light was slowly disappearing and secondly, the park was closing at 4.30pm...we should have checked the opening hours! But, we still had a good 2 or so hours to get some pretty decent shots.
I'll leave you with a few more in the gallery below. Simply click them to view them in a larger size. You can't say fairer than that! What other blog gives you 12 awesome images to enjoy in one post!?
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