There are a lot of Sika Deer in the RSPB reserve at Arne in Dorset and they are generally very easy to see. Dee and I were just returning to the car a couple of days ago, when we had a surprise deer encounter which is perhaps one of the best we have had. It was fairly late in the afternoon and we were walking on one of the main trails through the woods when I spotted a Sika Stag grazing just behind a ‘clump’ of bracken, about 5-6 metres away. We stopped in our tracks, stood very still and he seemed completely oblivious to our presence for several minutes. He saw us, but didn’t seem to care. He carried on grazing, wandering around amongst the bracken and trees while I fired off a good few shots. None of these yielded particularly good images, largely because of the challenging light under the trees.
I had my 70-300 mm (140-600 mm full frame equivalent) lens on my Olympus OM-D E-M1, and as a result was using ISO 3200 to help keep the shutter speed up. In the event, this shot was taken at the shorter end of the lens’ range, but I didn’t want to ‘fiddle’ with settings while I had such a good opportunity.
Of the shots that I got, I think that this is perhaps my favourite, even though it is not as sharp as I would have liked. This lack of sharpness is partly due to having applied some noise reduction in Lightroom and partly due to cropping to improve the composition. Using ISO 3200 is, however, something that I would have never dared to do with my E30, and indicates how much cameras have improved in the last couple of years.
We are off to Maine soon. It would be great, but unlikely, for us to get such an opportunity with a magnificent Moose. We’ll probably get lots of Lighthouses though!
Please check back to see.