I cannot think of a more favorite time of the year that the fall season, with scenes such as this one around every corner.
I captured the photo of this beautiful White-tailed deer feeding early morning in Kananaskis Country.
Just so you know, I stalked him for an hour to get this shot with everything coming together that included not only the stance of the deer, but also the surroundings as well as the background.
Several of the captures that I shot of this buck included trees in the image that I found appealing for the image to work, however his antlers were positioned such that the busy background mixed in with the antlers making it difficult to see them with full clarity.
Tree trunks growing out of a deer's head (in the background) look just as ugly as tree trunks (road signs, lamp standards, etc) growing out of a person's head (something I see way to much of on the Internet, images composed by those who profess to be portrait photographers).
Shooting photos of wildlife is not that much different from practicing portrait photography, as the background can make or break the final image.
Also, as in portrait photography, good bokeh (background blur) is important to separate the model (deer in this case) from the background, leading the viewers eyes to the main subject to be viewed.
Its important that the correct aperture be selected; 1st to add just enough depth of field to keep the deer in focus; and 2nd shallow enough to knock the background (and fore-ground) out of focus, as not to distract from the main subject, in this case, that being this white-tailed deer.
Also, as in portrait photography, the most crucial part of shooting wildlife photos, is to make sure that the eyes are in focus by making the eyes your focus point, as the eyes are the windows to the soul, and must be in focus no matter the circumstances.
I always shoot with both spot metering as well as spot focusing activated, and once I've metered and focused on what's important to the image working, I then recompose and shoot the photo (I have two back buttons on my camera body programed for these two very important settings, that hold the settings (focus and metering) I chose while I recompose the image) these two buttons are positioned under my thumb.
All wildlife photographers have different ways as to how they set their cameras up, but I prefer that my focus and metering activation buttons be separate from my shutter release button.
I must stress how important it is that you know your camera inside-out, as unlike landscape photography where you have time to think about the settings you choose to create the final image, wildlife photography is much more demanding, as in most cases, there may be only one chance at capturing the perfect photo.
You will find that many of my wildlife images include some of the environment that the animal lives in, as I prefer this to a tightly framed image, where nothing is learned of his or her home.
Yes, that is snow lying on the landscape, but it's early yet, so it will disappear before the snows of winter arrive.
Click on the photo for a closer look.....