Meadowlands

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Over the summer I have been working on Roe deer again at one of my favourite sites close to home in the South East of England and thought I would share some highlights with you (please click on each image to see them at optimum resolution).

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I was away this year for much of the period coinciding with the rut. I was still able to run a few photographic workshops either side of my trip and the following images are all taken on workshops with clients.

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At this year the bucks are bulked up full of testosterone for the rut. You can really see it with their thick necks.

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The females look very attractive also with the deer in their summer coats. The word Roe comes from the old English for red and Roe deer are in fact a lot more red than their bigger cousins the Red deer.

The Roe deer population in the South East can be traced back from fossils millions of year and in my opinion are much prettier than the roe found in other parts of England that have largely been re introduced from poorer stock from the continent. You have to go up to Scotland to find animals of a similar quality.

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One of the meadows where I work has a lovely black background. It is one of my favourite places to work.

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By mid summer the meadows are vibrant and alive with the flowers in bloom, ¬†including thistles, buttercups and orchids. It’s always lovely to see our prettiest species of native deer amongst the summer flowers. It’s a very special habitat – there has been a 97% decline in traditional hay meadows since the Second World War. It’s very sad as this is an important habitat for many of our native species.

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This particular buck is one of my favourites to work with. He is very tolerant if you know what you are doing. With his six point antlers, prominent pearling and sloping coronets he is a mature animal, coming into his prime.

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Putting together this blog I had an opportunity to go back through my files. It’s strange to think I have been visiting this site for the last five years. I haven’t really worked there very much over the last three years with family taking priority but it was nice to take a stroll down memory lane. I’ve never really put together the shots in a blog as a set so I thought I’d present them here.

Roe deer Capreolus capreolus, in hay meadow, England, May

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Bringing my photography up to date, I have been working on some shots this summer to convey Roe being more active at night. Shot with a very cool blue white balance and in the majority of cases manually focuses in the gloom at very high ISOs for a deliberately grainy feel and very low shutter speeds (1/25 sec) it’s very much hit and miss getting sharp images but good fun none the less.

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I’ll be working a lot more at this magical site in the next year as I really get to know the resident deer families.

I run one to one Roe deer workshops throughout the year. Please call me on 07525618363 for details and to secure your booking.

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