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16 Reasons To Keep A Safe Distance

16 Reasons To Keep A Safe Distance
Photo Information
Copyright: Paul Haynes (PaulH) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-10-04
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 40D, Sigma 170-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO Ultra DG, Hoya 77mm HMC Super U.V.
Exposure: f/6.8, 1/80 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite wild animal photos [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-10-14 10:12
Viewed: 3733
Points: 62
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note

Hope you're all doing ok, i've had a very busy time of it recently working on a personal project and haven't had any real time to dedicate properly to TN, until now that is!
This was taken a couple of weeks ago, at a spot in the New Forest i have been visiting to watch the Red Deer rut for nearly three years now. The Deer here are very wary of humans and getting close enough to get a decent shot is pretty hard. They are also very agressive during this time so keeping a safe distance is probably wise anyway!
This particular Stag was an awesome specimen and had an impressive 16 point rack in his arsenal. I spoke to a Forest Ranger who was also watching him and he is apparantly the largest Stag in the area.

As you can see, the early morning light was very flat and i stretched my humble Sigma 170-500mm to it's limit, deciding not to use my tripod so i could be more mobile and follow him as he moved through the woods and over the heath...hence the quality isn't that great.
He is however a fantastic example of his kind so i thought i'd share this with you guys anyway.

From the Forestry Commisions website:

There are only two native species of deer within Britain, which are Roe (Caprelous capreolus) and red deer (Cervus elaphus). While the other three species found within the New Forest, Sika (Cervus nippon), Fallow (Dama dama), and muntjac (Muntiacus reevesii) have all been released or escaped.
Red deer are kept at a constant level of around 100 within the New Forest boundaries. The stags tend to move off the forest onto outlying farmland and private
estates after the rut has finished at the end of October. The hinds usually remain in their highest concentrations around the central parts of the New Forest.
Red deer are the largest of all deer species found in Britain, and have a rich chestnut pelage in the summer months fading to a duller grey-brown in winter matching the vegetation. Calves are born with a spotted pelage, which fades with maturity.

Thanks for looking, i will try to drop by again a bit more regularly..

horia, crs, nglen, vanderschelden, Argus, uleko, techranger, eqshannon, rcrick, Alex99, LordPotty, Juyona, cataclysta, Royaldevon, SunToucher, Adanac, SelenE has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To bobcat08: ThanksPaulH 1 10-15 10:50
To horia: hello!PaulH 2 10-14 10:44
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-10-14 10:24]
  • [+]

Hi Paul

This is truly fantastic!
I LOVE the way you've captured this really impressive stag and i think the use of the tripod was the right way to go. I don't see any exif info here, but if this isn't taken at a very high ISO (and i don't think it is), i'm sure this would look terrific printed big.
The light here is great really. I don't know weather "flat" for you means good or bad, but i like the way it saturates all the colors and that you don't have any big or harsh shadows. This way, only through a shallow DOF you isolated the stag superbly from the rest of the scene. The composition is also outstanding, being the cherry on top of this gorgeous shot.


PS: could that personal project be a nice book on the Jurassic coast? :)

  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2008-10-14 10:38]

Hello Paul, you have made a very good photo showing very sharp the Red deer. You have used so well the existing light getting fine and well saturated colors.

Thank you for sharing,


16 reasons, yes I can remember him turning to look at me with that mini arsenal. This is when I am sure you will agree that you really start to realise the power these beasts have lurking within.
With regards to the shot, your usual high standard that brings back nice memories.
Top billing.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-10-14 10:46]

Hi Paul. I have yet to get out and try to get a male deer this year . This is a great pose with him looking staight at you. You have Good detail and colours. This is where a monopod may help and not to expensive . well done TFS. Good notes too.

Hello Paul
He is indeed a formidable photographer scaring Stag!!
Tripod...who would need one when the trembling photographer uses an image stablisier that the big camera comps try to reproduce!!
That said this is a cracking capture and I can see just how sharp it is even at this small picture size.
Great work Paul
All the Best
Trev (Paul)

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-10-14 10:52]

Hi Paul,
Outstanding shot of this grand looking Red Deer with such beautiful and showy antlers. Very impressive sharpness and you have handled the lighting and exposure levels very skillfully. Great view and I like the natural setting too. Excellent DOF, POV and composition.

Hello Paul,
I think there are 17 reasons actually:-).
Otherwise a very impressive photo of this Red deer.
Beautiful dark colors of the animal and the habitat.
Very good photo.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-10-14 11:55]

Hello Paul,
I'd certainly not relish the prospect of this 16 pointer taking a charge at me, but you seemed to have been close enough to take this fine shot in a great pose, the antler tips almost shining against the dark OOF natural BG.
A beautiful capture on the New Forest heath and thanks for sharing it,

  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2008-10-14 11:56]

Hello Paul,
This is a great shot! Sunday I also took some shots of Elk
roaming the Grand Canyon. This picture is very sharp and well
focused, very well done


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-10-14 11:58]

Hello Paul,
Terrific capture of this Stag facing you with its impressive horns. Wonderful early morning light and colours and the details are razor sharp. I like the surrounding heathland and the dark forest beyond - a splendid composition!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hello Paul,

Thats a very big one Paul. You have placed him in his enviroment. The bleeding heathland makes your photo perfect. Wunderful. His pose so looking at your camera (nice eycontact)makes this ompo complete.

Well done. Thanks for sharing. Cheers and TFS BOB

hello Paul

i counted the points, and yes you are reason :
« 16 Reasons To Keep A Safe Distance »,
your image is a superb shot, with fine POV & framing,
i love the early morning light, sharpness and details
of the deer are excellent like his eye-contact with you, TFS


Excellent capture and presentation of the Red Deer. Love the lighting and the way the tines of the antlers appear to be glowing. Beautifully done... TFS.


I am impressed with your ability to adapt to special light situations, this being a good example of just that...You handle them well in full contrast and low light....and then in a special lighting which is your special drawer....you are , if you could add an editorial part (*I don't think you feel as though you do this well but you have the mind)...anyway if you added that editorial part then you come across as an all around, do anything asked photographer....but having said that, it is your special love for certain situations and special lighting and the romantic in you, the poetry of images,,,,that is what makes you so very good!

hello paul,
what a fine shot, our landscaper is a complete photographer and this image proves my point, excellent pose, well composed shot,
tfs & regards

Hi Paul,

This is a very impressive shot of a beautiful Stag. That is one amazing pair of Antlers, stunning colours and detail, really like the way you've isolated him with the narrow d.o.f, great shot, all the best,

Cheers Rick :)

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-10-14 22:56]

Hi Paul.
What an impressive specimen you have picture. And scene is so wonderful. Darks and colour palette are unique and fine. POV and composition of the shot, DOF and details of the main subject are great too. My compliments and TFS.

  • Great 
  • clnaef Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 778 W: 67 N: 645] (6814)
  • [2008-10-14 23:35]

Bel animal qui ressort bien dans ce décor de rêve.
Bonne journée.

Hi Paul,
Great to see there are still impressive wild creatures like this in England.
This is a fantastic capture.
A brilliant exposure with good colour saturation and excellent detail.
Awesome work!
Well done.

Hi Paul
That is one BIG stag! On Friday I saw another one in the New Forest with '12 reasons' but this one is definitely the Daddy ;p I definitely would not want to get too close to this one as it was scary enough nearly being hit by Fallow Deer a few days ago (it wasn't charging me, just hadn't seen me).
You've done really well with the low light levels, it's still a very impressive shot and captures the feel of the typical New Forest heath/wood mix of landscape.
Kind Regards

Hi Paul!

Looks like your work is going in a new direction since I was absent on TN, and it seems you're doing very well in this too! That's a wonderful shot of the deer...
I've got so little time nowadays too but I hope we'll see each other's work again soon, and TFS!

Best regards,

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-10-15 13:06]

Hi Paul,
what a great shot of this impressive stag.
I love the composition.
Nice colours and soft light.
Excellent sharpness.

Cheers mate,

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-10-15 21:00]

Hello Paul, Very nice shot and I was wondering what kind of caption it is. Well I am sure everyone would like to have a safe distance. Well done Ganesh hope to see you regularly now. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-10-16 0:17]

Hola Paul,
sorprendente animal,
bella captura, escenario, pov y bg
buen control de la luz...

beautiful-majestic, TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-10-17 8:28]

Hello Paul,
Very impressive photo in very beautiful light and colours. Great sharpness for a hand-held photo with a 500 mm lens. Excellent timing an composition. Nice and exciting eye-contact.

Hi Paul
Great photo and interesting story in your note. It great to see this magnificent deer. I like it very much

Hello Paul,

Under very difficult circumstances, you have produced a remarkable shot of this magnifucent, proud stag.
The colours are deeply saturated and that seems to add majesty to the shot. The images are sharp and what an interesting, natural b/g.

Kind regards,
Bev :-)
Could the personal project be a book?

Hi Paul,
I thought you were going to meet in Richmond Park a few weeks back so I was expecting this one to be from London. But it seems that there are more spots to easely capture the rut season.
You really captured this one in a majestic pose. His antlers are very impressive and I can only imagine what he is able to do with them. I love the overall dark mood in this photo.

I love the richness of this image Paul. All the horizontal bands of color tied together by the stag is very effective. I love the white antler tips... looks like he's sharpened them up for use on a careless photographer. It is a lovely shot and the quality is amazingly good for a relatively slow shutter and a potentially moving animal.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-10-20 18:45]

Hello Paul,
Been there, done that it is not FUN. Splendid image of this regal looking stag. Great work my friend.

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-10-24 2:28]

Hi Paul,
That's a beautiful photo. Layes and colors look great. I like the composition, the expression you captured and the scenery a lot. Very well done and TFS
Have a nice weekend,

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