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Red Deer panoramic. Pocket of Light.

This male red deer stag was grazing in the shadow of nearby tree’s and as I walked between them to get a clearer view, momentarily lifted his head and in doing so exposed his eye to a small pocket of light. I was able to get a single shot off before the head was lowered again. It was totally spontaneous as I had no idea the light was there but it serves two purposes. It allows the viewer to connect with the deer, in a way you could not if the eye was not visible, and secondly I feel it adds an extra element of interest over how the image would have looked if the stag was simply standing in full light or full shadow.

Red deer stag in Richmond Park, Surrey

Nikon D800, 200-400 VR at 400mm, 1/500, f4, ISO 180

I’ve also been reacquainting myself with an old friend, the 200-400. Had I been lugging the larger 600mm with me, not only would I have been forced in to a much tighter crop, cutting out any hint and context of the tree’s which were casting the shadows, but I would have missed the shot anyway as I’d have never set the tripod down and composed in the briefest of moments in which the head was lifted.

And as an extension of that thought process, I’ve gone in to more detail about why I’ve been reacquainting myself with the 200-400, and the benefits of that, on my Facebook page.
(as well as see a small version of this image if the one above is too wide for your screen)

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About the author

Richard Peters is a Surrey based professional wildlife photographer, Nikon Ambassador, and one of the few British photographers to receive the accolade of European Wildlife Photographer of the Year. He is known for a style that often favours dramatic use of light, runs wildlife photography workshops and, from camera clubs to big industry events, holds talks about his work.

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