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Steve22

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2 Comments | Report
Eddieuuu071 Platinum
 
Eddieuuu071 November 26, 2019
Thank you for submitting you wonderful photo to my Best Nature Photo challenge! Best of luck!
cdhollingsworth Platinum
 
cdhollingsworth October 09, 2020
Been to the beauty shop, I see!

Behind The Lens

Location
The photo was taken in Richmond Park, London during the rutting season on one of my group teaching workshops.
Time
When doing the rutting season I always go for sunrise to do a bit of landscape photography then once the sun has broken through a change of lenses gets me readied for the magnificent Red Stags so this image will have been taken around 8am - 10am as this tends to be when the stags are most active in the morning then again at dusk.
Lighting
The only time I'm ever considering the lighting is as the sun breaks the horizon & is nice and low, when the stags are bellowing & the exhalation of the breathe on the grunt from the belly can be wonderfully visible if backlit against a dark background.
Equipment
The kit used for this photo was a Sony A7iii & a 70-200mm Tamron lens on a monopod. NEVER use a flash when shooting stags it could be a very painful mistake they will charge & challenge a human being if perceived as a threat.
Inspiration
Stags thrash around in the bracken & ferns to initially strengthen the neck muscles for the antler jousting they will inevitably take part in & in doing this they will then dress their antlers to make themselves look bigger than they actually are to fend off other challenging stags. Seeing a stag as dressed as this is a first for me in over 10 years of shooting this fabulous wildlife spectacular.
Editing
A slight increase adjustment to exposure & contrast with a minor lift of shadows around the head area & a sharpen.
In my camera bag
When doing a days workshop like this it will be a wide angle lens with filters for the landscape element at sunrise then a macro lens but this didn't get out of the bag & a 70-200 f 2.8 lens for the Sony & a Sigma 150-500 on the Canon 5dii with tripod & monopod.
Feedback
Make sure you take into consideration the light available on the day before you choose your settings. When shooting the stags it is all about the shutter speed so I use that mode on my camera static or very slow moving you need to be faster than the lens length so a 200mm lens the shutter speed must be 250 & above to prevent camera shake, so a 500mm lens at 640 or above. I would also suggest auto ISO in order to not have to worry or think about shooting into light or dark areas, woodland etc let the camera do the calculating not you getting light or dark photos & the heartbreak of a "lost shot".

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