Looking In On Deer

In my opinion, photographing deer is a challenging task. Simply because, unless they are captive, deer – especially roe deer – are very nervous creatures. They do their best to keep away from people and all the inevitably life-threatening activities associated with human beings.


Wild deer, born free and living in the countryside can be elusive; here one minute, gone the next. Attempting to capture their lives on ‘film’, can seem like an impossible task.


When it comes to photographing roe deer, it pays to take your time – don’t try to ‘force’ the situation. Be present, take your time and let the deer come to you. If you do, the resulting images will show the animal behaving in a natural manner.  


However, it depends on your desired outcome; if all you want is a photograph of a roe deer - any roe deer, doing anything at all – then that’s not too difficult to achieve.  But if you’re looking to create a photograph of a roe behaving as though the photographer wasn’t even there, that’s an entirely different proposition.


It’s certainly something that I have found difficult to achieve with any sort of consistency; my ‘failure’ rate is high. In fact, at certain times of the year, it may not even be possible to photograph a roe at comparatively close range, without causing some kind of disturbance, however minor it may seem to us. (This applies to photographing the deer when you’re actually in situ with the camera – not where you employ a remote camera system.)


A Private Moment


The month was April; the mother doe and her young buck had been together for over 11 months. And for the majority of that time, she’s been pregnant, and now the clock was ticking; and within weeks, she would be giving birth once again.


In the cool morning air, she raises her head and invites the youngster to caress the soft underside of her neck. Although they’d soon be going their separate ways, in this moment they were connected; their bond was still strong, at least for now.


Mum appreciated the affection as much as her young tenderfoot.   

Technical Details of Image     


Shutter time: 1/800 s   Aperture: f/4   ISO: 200   Focal length: 390 mm

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