Shoot With Me: The Frost.
As my last photography post went down a treat, I thought I'd show you some more and create a little feature that I'll add to every now and then - if you guys don't mind! So, welcome to my second little series from my trip to Richmond Park. If you're new around here, I am doing a wildlife-based project as part of my uni course so decided to focus on deer. I've never done wildlife before, this is my now second attempt so please be nice!
SHOOT WITH ME
Second time around, I went alone and I left my bed at about 5am so I had enough time to de-ice my car and fling myself down the M25 to be at Richmond for when it opened. I managed to get there at 7:15am when the sun was just coming up, so it was perfect timing! I jumped out of my car with my camera and I was off. At this point, I had no idea where the deer actually was. If you've been to Richmond you'll know it's huge, like huuuuge so you have to spend a bit of time walking around just seeing if you can spot any antlers.
Even though getting out of my warm bed was the biggest challenge ever, I gotta tell ya, it was worth it. Going off-peak is the best time to capture the deer without getting Richmond Park's usual human visitors in the background of your pictures but still - off-peak times are popular amongst photographer's so you may find yourself fighting for a good spot.
These are the first couple of shots I took, as you can probably tell the sun is still low just starting to come up through the trees. I did spend a good amount of time with this particular deer, just crouching in some wet grass hoping that he would look up at me. But he was too busy having his breakfast and after all, I wouldn't want a lens in my face when I've just woken up. So I couldn't get any real good shots of him but I do love the warm light in the background of these.
I carried on walking and moving around, where I found these two! The sun was almost up in these shots so I was trying my hardest to get the last of the frost before it all melted away. It's a challenge in itself to find the deer but it's even harder to find a deer in a good position in terms of the lighting and background, so you may have to wait even longer for this to happen. When I took these, I just followed them around from a safe distance away using a 90-300mm lens.
It's important to not scare the deer or approach them especially during this time of year! It's rutting season so moods are likely to be running high, they are unpredictable and aggressive. When I first spot a deer, I don't get my camera out right away. I tend to just stand from a safe distance away for a couple of minutes so the deer knows I'm there. If I want to get a bit closer, I walk very slowly and as quietly as I can. The deer in Richmond Park are more than used to human activity but again it's best not to make them anxious not only for safety reasons but if you move too quickly or loudly, they will just walk away and then you've lost your shot. It's best just to walk around them calmly.
One of my goals for this project was to capture a rut and I'm so happy I did! But I made sure that I stood far away, I used a variety of lenses for these. I stocked up my parka coat full of them, my 90-300mm and my 50mm are the ones I got out the most for this series.
I was also happy just to get a shot of a deer with it's head up! This deer was staring me out for a while, just watching my movements as I kept on crouching and standing up. So I didn't take too long taking these before walking away.
If you have any more questions about these images, if there's anything I might've missed, please comment below!