Friday, February 7, 2014

Deer at sunset in the woods: Where is the deer?

There are plenty of deer in George Bush Park (Barker Reservoir) and in Cullen Park (Addicks Reservoir) North of I-10. You can even watch them from the respective dam roads. These are large areas -- large by suburban standards -- that are basically left to nature running its course and no hunting or even carrying of firearms is allowed in these parks (except for the shooting center on Westheimer Parkway).

Find the deer in this landscape
The white-tailed deer enjoy quasi-protected status, and they are easy to encounter, much easier than, say, the feral hogs, that also roam the grounds along the meandering bayou. But they typically emerge at dusk, and shooting them with the camera is quite a challenge. They freeze alright and stare in your direction, but they don't let you get very close, so you need a powerful zoom or telelens; but you also need a longer exposure because of the dim light conditions. If the animal moves, your image of it will get blurred. At best usable for special effect, if you are lucky enough to have a whole group in front if you and some move while others stand still and gaze at the camera.

Apparently got to close for comfort - this one is taking off;
it almost looks like a kanguruh
Wrong pose ... and tail is not even white, at least not
when in the "down" position
These two look okay as small versions on  the screen, at ISO-800 and 1/50 shutter speed, 
with a little editing and cropping on the computer upon return from the woods

I accentuated the colors a little bit on this one with the photo-editing software.
The natural lighting was quite good actually better than during the warm season
because there is no foliage to interfere  with the illumination by the setting sun.

Another abortive foray to watch deer: The live specimen on display, and happily grazing -- at Bear Creek Pioneers' Park do not quite match the interpretive sign providing background info on the White Tailed Deer. It's educational all the same. You will just have to enjoy the ponies and donkeys and leave the deer-watching for another day in another place: perhaps the nearby woods.

at other times of the year when the grass is greener

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