Tony McLean's East Yorkshire Wildlife Diary

Wildlife photography in East Yorkshire

The Choice

Roe-Deer drinking, originally uploaded by Tony McLean.

I’ve seen Roe Deer at Tophill Low at almost every location on the reserve. These are quiet, graceful creatures and if you listen carefully, you’ll often hear them before you see them. So yesterday evening, it was pleasing to see a deer come right down to the lake shore for a drink.

If I’m lucky, I will often return home after a morning’s photography with several hundred images. Some folks might finding it daunting, but I relish the task of sitting down with a cup of tea and narrowing down the many to the few. On a rare occasion, the choice is obvious (or Hobson’s) but for most part, decisions have to be made. Initially, I discard all the images that are not critically sharp. But before I do, I try to discover the reason behind their unsharpness. I will often examine the image’s exif data in order to discover if the shutter speed was too slow or perhaps the depth of field insufficient? Did I just miss the focus or did the creature move?

Next, I consider the composition. Most of my images are cropped, so I will experiment trying to find a pleasing composition. The stance of the bird or animal is critical. With a bird the position of the head and eyes in particular are paramount (more of this on a future blog). As a matter of fact, the stance of the deer in the image above is a long way from perfection. Its hind legs are not well separated, its fore-leg has disappeared into the soft mud and I would have preferred a a lower position of its head.

Nevertheless, I have made my choice and then removed several extraneous distractions in Photoshop. The strive for perfection can be very frustrating, but it is the hope of a better photograph that keeps me coming back.

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3 thoughts on “The Choice

  1. Mandy Sears on said:

    Lovely to see a decent shot of one Tony – was this at North Marsh?

  2. Yes Mandy, it was. I met Vince Cowell at North Marsh Hide and he mentioned that he’d seen three deer earlier that afternoon. As well as a Sparrowhawk and Hobby.

  3. That’s right. I’m glad the Deer returned for you Tony, they must have been quite thirsty that day.
    I have some shots very similar to this. The reflection in the calm water makes for a very nice composition.

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