Monday, 17 September 2012

BWPA - Highly Commended Image - Deer Rutting

I am pleased to confirm that one of my images has been Highly Commended in the 'Animal Behaviours' category of the British Wildlife Photography Awards - the showcase for Britain's diverse nature and wildlife.

Here's the image in question (see the bottom of this blog for more about how/where/when I took the image):

Deer rutting, BWPA 2012 Animal Behaviours - Highly Commended

It's featured on Page 63 of the excellent hard-back 'coffee table' book, which is available to order from Amazon (and makes for a great Christmas present, as most of my relatives will find out!):

I'm also happy to announce that via Photobox, I'm able to offer the chance for you to buy a print of the images, available in all sorts of sizes and mounted, framed, etc.  Please double- check if you are ordering that the image fits well for the size you'd like, as sometimes the ratio of the print means you lose part of the image:

The image was on display in the Mall Galleries, SW1, alongside lots of the images from the book, including all the well-deserved winning ones

Mall Galleries, showing British Wildlife Photography Awards, 17th Sept 2012

More about the image

Richmond Park, in the South-West of London is one of the most accessible places to see Red Deer in the UK.  Like all wild animals, they need to treated with respect - and in the rutting season in particular, you have to keep a safe distance from them (unlike Fenton).

My day started the night before, when I confirmed that the weather was going to bright and very cold the next morning (good for mist) - then it was time to pack all the gear, charge the batteries and set the alarm for 04:30.

At the time, in October 2011, I was still living in Central London, so I cycled over to Waterloo and got the first train out towards Richmond (Norbiton, in fact).  Whilst pitch black, I was then able to use the pedestrian gate to enter the park - and slowly cycle through the park on the roads.

As the light started to appear, I remember taking this shot en-route to where I eventually locked my bike up and then started walking:

After finding the deer and noting the likely direction they would head and where the sun would appear, it was a case of walking a very wide loop, downwind, ahead of them - and getting below the horizon level...  A group of deer then walked nicely across the light and then when I saw a couple of them starting to rut, after a quick reposition, I managed to get the shot I was happy with.