With the weather being cold and frosty I've decided to leave the fishing alone for a while and focus my attentions towards photography. Overnight the local forecast was for -4 degrees with clear skies in the morning with perhaps a little cloud, I decided to have another shot at the local Red deer.
I was quite pleased to get a couple of stag's fighting in just the right place as the sun rose. That will probably be the last visit for a while after the deer unless we get some snow fall, I will now try to get a decent kingfisher shot, 6 hours in the hide so far with not a picture taken, it could be a long slog.
With my photography I have a preconceived idea about the shots that I'm after, and to be honest I'm my own biggest critic. I see faults in every picture I take, but i suppose that's how you improve , anyway the shots I got today are on the way towards getting the picture that I've got in my head.
Right just time to make some sandwiches then 4 hours in a hide waiting for a kingfisher, the light should be just right.
Why is it that the weather forecast is never right, for a couple of day's leading up to Saturday it was forecast for cold and clear, ideal photography weather. It gets to Friday night and the forecast has changed to overcast for the weekend. Anyway it's given me time to develop a few more images from the other day's Red deer shoot and Helen, Maddy and myself
have been on a few walks making plans for next weeks photography and fishing. With the cold snap arriving it will probably be a bit of long trotting with the pin for chub and maybe a bit of lure fishing for pike. On the photography side I hope to nail a kingfisher having today seen one on a nice perch and going by the amount of droppings on the floor it looks like a regular visitor. This will have to wait for any brightness we may have.
Anyway here's a nice silhouette shot of a Red deer I processed yesterday and another of little Maddy looking out the window waiting to go on a walk.
With last night forecast for clear skies and an early morning frost the fishing rods were put away and I decided to get some more Red deer shots. Leaving the house at 6-30 am I thought I'd left plenty of time to get there for sunrise, I didn't allow for the tractor and an old boy driving at 30mph. There was nothing I could do except watch the sky lighten in the east in my rear view mirror, finally they both turned off and the last few miles were done in double quick time.
Luckily the deer were in the right spot and I was able to get some nice silhouette shots in the pre dawn light. I had hoped for some more sunrise shots, but 5 minutes too soon they headed off into the valley and shade. Within half an hour of arriving all the pictures had been taken and I was heading home.
Yesterday time was a bit short, I did however develop some more shot's from the other day's photography. One I like show's the herd of Red deer stag's that I was photographing. The best place I have locally to photograph deer is at the Woburn deer park as this picture show's sometimes it can be difficult to isolate a lone stag to get the desired picture.
Please note, there are mown paths around the deer park and these must be kept to to avoid spooking the deer, all these pictures were taken from the path.
With the morning forecast for frost,mist and clear skies I decided to have a photography day. Part one was to be in place at dawn for Red deer hopefully to get some shots with the sunrise behind them. On arrival there was a lovely hoar frost on the ground, now I just needed the deer to be in the right place. Fortunately enough they were and I was able to get some rather pleasing shots.
Part one of the day got off to a good start, once the sun had risen I headed to the woods for some more bird photography. Pictures will be added tomorrow.
Last week I visited Woburn deer park on a couple of occasions to show a couple of wildlife photography friends around. There's a number of path ways that criss cross the park that allow some good photographic view points without disturbing the deer at this important time of the year. Photographers should do there utmost not to spook the deer.When approaching the deer, remember there's a road that runs through the centre of the park, I notice that the deer killed on the road total is up this year compared to last. I find it best not to directly approach them, but more move in an arc gradually getting closer while all the time watching their reaction to judge wether or not you've moved into there comfort zone. At the first sign of any unease stop, take a few pictures and allow the herd or individual to relax again before moving any closer.
Over the last few days I've been looking at some old raw files taken a couple of years ago during the annual Red deer rut at Woburn. Back then my raw processing program was Rawshooter, today I use Aperture 3 from Apple.
I re edited this shot today and I have to say that the difference in the finished picture is quite amazing from the original I'd developed a couple of years back. I can see that I've got a lot of work in front of me going over a lot of my older pictures.
Had to go to Dunstable today so called into Woburn to see how the Red deer were progressing getting ready for the yearly rut . This happens towards the end of September or early October.
Although some of the stags were still shedding the velvet from their antlers a few of the more dominant stags had already done so and were looking in good shape. The odd mock battle was also taking place.
Although the light was quite bad I managed a few shots I was pleased with.
All the shots were taken from the footpaths, something to remember if you decide to visit to witness the rut in a month or so's time. I've often witnessed photographers spooking the deer by leaving the footpaths to get a better angle. The animals welfare should always come first especially as a road runs though the middle of the park.