Monday, November 14, 2011

Two Whitetail Deer

I recently spotted these two bedded whitetail deer, a buck and a doe. My path had originally been from camera left with the sun at my back when I saw the buck. The doe was much more concealed from that direction and I didn't spot her until I worked in closer. I took some shots that included both deer in the image but the deer were far enough apart that the composition lacked focus. By circling about 90 degrees I was able to bring the heads of the two deer close together and achieve a stronger focal point for the composition. An additional benefit was the sunlight coming from the side to give nice shaping on the face of the doe.
It was impossible to keep both heads in focus because they were too far apart for the limited depth of field of the long lens (100-400 at 340mm). I took a shot while focused on the buck at f/5.6 but the image was not pleasant with the doe so far out of focus and being the closest one in the image. I also tried focusing on the doe but the buck was too far out of focus at f/5.6. The image shown here resulted after stopping down to f/9 and focusing on the doe. The buck is still out of focus but there is much more detail at the smaller aperture. The buck now serves as a nice complement to the doe in this image.
For those of you interested, the buck's antlers were not symmetrical, with four tall points on his left side and five shorter points on his right. There were two separate brow tines on the right side.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Portrait of a whitetail deer buck.

This mature whitetail deer buck was photographed last year and we created this interesting portrait with some digital enhancements. The intent was to give a three-dimensional look to the image.
Quite a bit of meticulous work was involved in separating the antlers from the original forest background. The rest of the work proceeded smoothly. The imitation mat has a slight texture that does not show on this small image. The shadow behind the antlers was crafted so as to be visible only on the mat. The final touch was to convert the original image to black & white but gradually blend to color on the deer's head.
This image is available at one of our online stores as a wrapped canvas print.