A break is as good as a rest they say, and at the start of the year I decided to take a bit of a break from my photography. I would really recommend it as I have come back feeling all the better for it, fresh, re invigorated and really enjoying my photography. Which is what it’s all about right?
Where better to make a start than the autumn deer rut. The annual deer rut is one of my favourite British wildlife spectacles. This year I was only really after one shot.
With the increase in testosterone that comes on during the rut, Red deer stags become increasingly agitated. They thrash their antlers in the bracken and vegetation to ensure they are in tip top competition. As they raise their heads it continues to decorate their antlers and sees them sporting elaborate natural headgear.
It’s a shot I’ve wanted in my Red deer portfolio but I’ve never been in the right place at the right time. This year I was determined to put that right. I think I just about nailed it.
I’m pretty happy with what I got in the end. At the same time as chasing this shot, I also made the most of other opportunities that presented themselves. The following sequence was shot in torrential rain. White balance set in camera.
Of course, it wouldn’t be autumn with a bit of mist and although I have many misty morning shots in my portfolio I still really love photographing in these atmospheric conditions.
I tend to wait until the autumn colours start to show before starting my rut photography in earnest. Down south that tends to be towards the end of the rut.
I also like photographing the hinds that tend to get neglected during this time.
One of the great things about photographing in the Royal parks is that you can photographing them in a way that would be almost impossible to do in the wild during the annual rut period. I say this with some authority I feel having worked for the last four years photographing wild Roe deer which are properly hard. This ability to get close also means you can try to get some nice detail shots.
The Rut isn’t all about the Reds of course. Fallow deer also make great subjects. I spent some time trying to get some shots with the natural framing that their woodland habitat provides.
So that was my rut. I really enjoyed myself and I hope it shows in my work. I’m going to be talking to the Royal parks about running some workshops next autumn, so if you are interested then contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll put you on my mailing list. Full details nearer the time.