Sunday, February 20, 2011

Just Up the Road

The last 2 weeks, the winter weather has been showing signs that spring is on its way.  So, taking advantage of one such spring-like day, I decided to take the long way home from work and I ventured off onto a few of the many gravel roads that cut the landscape in this area.  I had a particular destination in mind and with the way the light was changing I knew I was going to have an opportunity at some great photos. 

However, it's always interesting how mother-nature can throw a twist when you least expect it.  After finishing up at my chosen destination where I was rewarded with some fantastic early evening light, I started my way home with no intention of making any other stops.  In fact, I came close to putting my camera back in its bag, but I knew better.

Cruising down a gravel road, less than a mile from my house I caught some movement in a cut cornfield off to my left.  As I turned my head for a better look, my only instinct was to slam on the breaks, which I did, although I'm lucky I didn't "flat-spot" any of my tires (gotta love gravel!).  Standing in the cornfield were 20-30 whitetail deer basked in beautiful, warm, sunset light.  However, they weren't going to stand around for long, since they definitely had taken notice to my skidding stop and they weren't impressed.  I grabbed my camera and starting firing away as the deer began to scatter.

Deer at sunsetIt's pretty astounding how many photos you can take when you don't lift your finger from the shutter button for several seconds! Unfortunately, the majority of those photos came out less sharp than I wanted and some were extremely blurry.  In my haste, I had selected an aperture that didn't allow a shutter speed fast enough to stop the deer's motion completely.  Add to that the panning motion I made with the camera in order to follow the deer and you have blurry photos.  Of the photos I was happy with, these two are my favorites and I feel they both are great reminders of a wonderful sight.

Deer at sunsetThe first picture really shows the deer's natural instincts to flee when threatened.  Maybe they didn't get the memo that deer season had closed?  The second picture came after some of the deer had settled down a bit and were showing some curiosity in what I was doing.  The buck in the center of the frame was where my eyes were focusing since I had noticed that he was the biggest buck out of the 3-4 that were in the herd.  I kept watching him hoping that he would strike a pose and he finally did!  I love the light and the contrast between snowy shadows and sunlit trees in both pictures.

Great Light + Wildlife = Stunning!

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