29 April 2011

How to Photograph Roe Deer

Although I've entitled this blog "how to photograph Roe Deer" I'm not sure I still really have the answer to that. Having said that, after many hours of watching these incredible animals and trying my hardest to get close to them, I've finally managed some close up shots of the deer in their natural habitat on the farm.

It's funny how some days, everythings seems to happen at once. This was the case on the morning I took these images. Hidden behind a straw bale, with my camouflage, I was treated to a beautiful buck wandering into the field at close range. the sun was just beginning to break as I watched him sniffing and snorting. I had to make a few clicking noises to get him to look up: he eventually decided not to trust the strange 'clicking' straw bale and slowly stepped through the hedgerow into the next field. About an hour later I spotted a female grazing at the edge of the field and was able to use one of the bales to quickly move about 50 yards or so to get withing shooting distance. I hit the ground with camera on beanbag and waited for her to step out. I didn't have to wait long before she was in full view, allowing for some lovely portraits..

I've learnt a lot about the deer - particularly in the last couple of months. Above all it's important to keep your head camouflaged, and I've found that with no movement they will largely ignore you - even at relatively close range (provided they don't catch your scent). But perhaps the biggest lesson has been in realising just how easily they move around the farm without being seen. I totally underestimated this - and now I know to keep a constant check with binoculars when approaching their feeding grounds. Many a time they stick to the hedgerows and are surprisingly well camouflaged. This probably explains how I have suddenly come upon a deer when turning a corner on so many occassions!

With the grass now getting longer I will go for pure hand-held stalking, using the long grasses as concealment. Watch this space as hopefully there will be more roe deer images to post.!

1 comment:

  1. "able to use one of the bales to quickly move about 50 yards"

    I've now got a vision of a straw bale shooting across a field apparently under its own motion, and a deer being completely unperturbed!