A newborn fawn lies motionless in a bed of soft grass.

A newborn fawn lies motionless in a bed of soft grass.
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People's Choice in What Is Beauty? Photo Challenge
Winner in Lil' Cuties Photo Challenge
People's Choice in Small Babies Photo Challenge
Peer Award
miketrainor brucesharock LeeVarland leonagibbs SheriFresonkeHarper geraldinethompson Egoryan +26
Superb Composition
JayneBug SueColman brianlapinski lamiyamahparaahmed Lisey Multifacet Eduardbetz +21
Top Choice
ALF2 Methmal graceawateamace rhiannyn skoloski p_eileenbaltz bobgladue +18
Absolute Masterpiece
CharlesWScottphoto olastas tysonharrison Danisti Ironside lindaharrisdavis roxray +14
Magnificent Capture
maryhale9534 CarolPatten ljxn takeoneshotatatime FrancoisHorne lucretia debbieturnage +8
All Star
joestanley lisaladouceur LucyCMorr JeanettePillon robertcauty mahamilton paulwhite_5859 +1
Outstanding Creativity
hwishnick brendabowers TamWilliams
Love it
kstandley Tdward
Superior Skill



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A Low Vantage Point Photo ContestTop 20 class
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Everything Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class
Everything Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
The Emerging Talent AwardsTop 10 class
Spring Photo Contest 2017Top 10 class
Spring Photo Contest 2017Top 10 class week 1
We Love Animals Photo ContestTop 10 class
We Love Animals Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Our Natural World Photo ContestTop 30 class
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 1Top 10 class
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 1Top 10 class week 2
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9 Comments | Report
bridgetrendall December 31, 2015
Beautiful capture
ndejong January 29, 2016
thank you!
Byronfairphotography PRO+
Byronfairphotography January 29, 2016
ndejong January 29, 2016
bridgetrendall March 10, 2016
So pleased your photo won the Lil' Cuties Challenge, brilliant and so deserved
ndejong March 11, 2016
thank you!
hwishnick PRO+
hwishnick March 25, 2016
What a great shot. Pure innocence
ndejong March 25, 2016
thanks much! love these little guys!
cilla8 PRO
cilla8 April 10, 2016
Magnificent capture!
ndejong April 10, 2016
thanks you, I appreciate it!
JDLifeshots April 10, 2016
Awesome capture! Congrats.
ndejong April 10, 2016
thank you!
Foxyphotos April 11, 2016
Congratulations, a lovely shot
ndejong April 11, 2016
thanks much, he was fun to photograph!
joycealicesmith April 11, 2016
So precious!! Congratulations on winning People's Choice!
ndejong April 11, 2016
precious indeed, thank you!
lisaladouceur September 20, 2016
That's awesome lucky you! Nice shot
ndejong September 20, 2016
thanks! yes, sometimes that all it is - luck!

Behind The Lens

This photo was taken a short distance from where I live here in rural Iowa. It's one of my go-to spots for seeing nature and photographing; best thing is it's only a few minute drive. The location is privately owned by a friend, a brushy, overgrown acreage surrounded by crop land. There are a few buildings but no residential ones. Limited human activity presents nice opportunities throughout the year of seeing and photographing wildlife.
In my opinion, this is one of my best images; and it's also one with very little time put into it. I didn't have to wake up early, crawl into a ground blind, and wait patiently for hours on end. It was one of those serendipitous mornings that all nature photographers wait for. The date was June 1, the perfect time to be out looking for newborn fawns in the woods, and that's exactly what I was doing. At this point, I was fairly inexperienced with knowing what kind of habitat to be looking in; the limited reading that I've done on the subject suggested to be looking in mixed prairie environments with tall grass. Obviously, watching one's step is imperative as these little critters often blend in quite well to their surroundings. As you can imagine, I was ecstatic when I actually did come across this little guy that it took a few minutes to compose myself. Knowing that the mother was most likely very close, I didn't want to cause too much stress to her or this little guy; I took several minutes to get some shots and then left. The time of day was around 9:30 in the morning.
When photographing wildlife or scenery, lighting is an element that you can have little control over; you take what you can get. The morning that I took this photo, the lighting couldn't have been better. The previous week had been a week of low pressure systems moving through the area which provided a substantial amount of rain, cooler temperatures, and cloudy days. For me, I would take a cloudy day rather than a sunny day any day to photograph outside. With sunny days, you have to contend with harshness, shadows, and trying to get accurate meter readings. So, because of the overcast weather, I was able to get even tones throughout the image even during late morning.
No fancy equipment was used to get this photograph. Like many amateurs, as is myself, budget becomes an issue when purchasing camera equipment. The camera body I use is a Canon T2i and I used the kit lens for this shot - EF-S 18-55 mm F3.5-5.6 with IS. No tripod was used - handheld, as well as no flash needed. From articles that I've read, using flash while shooting wildlife is somewhat cautioned against, as it may have negative effects on the animal if overused. Another piece equipment that I used was a Zeikos battery pack attached to the camera body, which supplies a subsequent shutter button for portrait shots, and allows for more time spent afield before running out of batter power.
Over the years, I've seen a number of awesome photos of whitetail fawns either in sportsmen magazines or online, and these photos inspired me to try to get shots of my own. As with most other species that I try and photograph, I do a bit of research on how to be more successful in getting photographs - read articles, watch internet videos, etc. Also, it's not a bad idea to be involved in a group of other photographers that can share information on what they've seen and can relay sightings and experiences. But, for this encounter, it was all a matter of luck allowed me to get photos of this little guy.
Minimal editing was done to this photo; it was taken in JPEG format, not RAW. Using the photo software that came pre-installed on my mac, minor changes were made involving saturation, sharpness, definition, exposure level, shadows and highlights.
In my camera bag
The camera equipment that I use is not excessive by any means and is relatively inexpensive. Most of my outings are usually geared towards getting shots of a specific species, which allows me to only worry about having the right lens along. On longer trips, I usually pack everything, which still isn't much (most everything fits into one camera bag). My equipment consists of a Canon T2i body, Canon L 100-400 mm F4.5-5.6 IS, Canon EF-S 55-250 mm 4.0-5.6 IS. I usually have my Manfrotto compact action tripod packed along as it doesn't take much space. Other smaller pieces of equipment that I usually have along include a Yongnuo digital speedlite flash, a collection of filters, Yongnuo wireless remote flash trigger, and JYC shutter release. Other non-photography equipment that I often have accessible is a Nikon prostate 7 10x42 binos and a collection of mouth calls including an Illusion extinguisher deer call, Primos pheasant call, a collection of turkey calls, and others.
As you can see from the equipment that I use I haven't broke the bank investing in camera gear. This means that you don't need expensive gear to take nice shots; it's more about the time spent learning how to use the gear that you have and doing it proficiently. For other nature lovers, like myself, that wish to take similar photos of wild newborn whitetail fawns, it's more about the time it takes trying to find them than it is pressing the shutter button. I would encourage you to read articles about the life cycle of a deer and deer behavior, being knowledgeable about how different seasons affect the deers habits, what types of habitats deer prefer during different seasons, when peak breeding is during the fall, and ultimately the time frame when most of the fawns are born in the spring. With this knowledge, you will know when the best time to be out looking, relative to your latitude, and hopefully be more successful your quest (Here in Iowa, the best time is late May and early June). Also, as a general rule of thumb for wildlife shots, getting eye-level with the subject is most often going to produce more appealing results; the photo becomes more intimate, the subject becomes more life-like, and the background gets softened adding another element of appeal.

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