ImageSpotlight: Morning Mist Whitetail

I love taking photographs in inclement weather. Over the past 48 hours we have been experiencing mist and rain in South Texas. The Saturday morning weather forecast called for more of the same so I packed my gear the night before and set my alarm for 4:30 A.M. in anticipation of a classic Southern Texas image.

Several weeks earlier I was driving down a ranch road with a friend of mine when I noticed an open meadow lined with cactus and yucca plants, which are common throughout much of the ranch country. I openly stated that I’d like to photograph a big buck in that area so I made note of the spot and then waited for the right conditions to make my return.

With the plant and animal life wet from the rain and mist, I knew the colors would be deeply saturated and the antlers of the buck would take on a rich chocolate color. I set a little corn on the ground in a spot that I wanted the deer, then setup my camera equipment and waited. With the low light conditions, I cranked up the ISO on the camera to 800, the highest I’m comfortable using with the Canon 7D. Even at this ISO, my shutter speeds were minimal and I questioned whether I would have a sharp enough image at those settings. As I saw the buck emerge from the brush in the background, I remember thinking how I wished I owned the 5DMkIII or 1Dx, which can handle ISO speeds upward of 3200. As the saying goes though, you can wish in one hand and…..well, you know how it goes.

The buck found the corn then put his head down to eat. I made a little squeak sound to get him to raise his head and position his ears forward, then squeezed off a series of images. The result is the image you see below. While I’d still like to have the cameras I mentioned, that Canon 7D came through for me and I have a great image for my files.

So the next time the weather turns a little south on you…get out there and keep shooting. -KEVIN

Whitetail in Morning Mist. Canon 7D | 70-200 + 1.4x | ISO 800

ImageSpotlight: Whitetail In Flight

As you have been noticing, I have been on a bit of a whitetail kick over the past month.  If you are wondering why I’m taking so many deer images lately, it’s pretty simple: a) it’s that time of year, and b) my whole interest in photography began with my passion for whitetail deer. So, when the weather changes in the fall and those first cold/cool fronts push through South Texas, I get an uncontrollable urge to don some camouflage and roam the brush country. In fact, I need some regular outdoor/nature time or quite simply, I’m not happy.

This weekend I was able to get out for a quick morning shoot and was rewarded with a first for me…a buck in full stride. So, was I just in the right spot at the right time when a buck came flying by? Or, was the shot planned? The correct answer is a little of both actually. Read below to see how the image was captured.

I was shooting with a friend on this particular morning when we noticed this buck in the open. After a quick discussion, we decided to go on a deer drive, sans rifle. I positioned myself at an appropriate distance for a Canon 7D and 500/4.5 lens. Using a crop factor camera and long lens allowed me to position myself far enough away without spooking the buck but close enough to fill most of the frame. Once I was setup, my buddy circled around and began the drive. It’s amazing how fast the buck hit full stride and how quickly he was gone, but before he disappeared in the brush, I had the image below.

Until next time, get out and keep shooting. — KEVIN

Click on the image for a larger view.

Whitetail In Full Stride. Canon 7d | 500/4.5 | f7.1 | ISO 400

South Texas Whitetails-Fall 2012

My photography has been fairly limited this year as I’ve been fully immersed in my dissertation research. However, I have learned first-hand that “all work and no play” really does make for a “dull day”.  So, over the past couple of weekends I have ventured out to one of my favorite spots for photographing South Texas Whitetail and each outing has been quite rewarding. On my first trip, I had overcast conditions and was able to shoot long into the mid-morning hours with the sun hidden behind the clouds. On my second trip, I had a clear sky so the sun was visible as it came up over the horizon. This provided wonderfully warm light for photography. However, under these conditions a morning shoot can end early as the unfiltered light can quickly get harsh. Still, the warmth and contrast of this light makes for fantastic images. While I normally shoot with the sun at my back, I challenged myself to try and capture some images shooting into the morning sun. I also tried to capture some environmental images in addition to the traditional types of shots you have seen me post on this blog. Some of the images worked great, others didn’t. In each case, the challenge stretched my abilities and those are the things that help us keep improving as photographers.

Until next time, challenge yourself, get out there and keep shooting…–KEVIN



ImageSpotlight: South Texas Whitetail

Last weekend I took some time away from my research to focus on photography. I had a great whitetail outing in the morning and as you already know, a great Osprey adventure in the afternoon. This heavy framed buck presented a great shot early in the morning. I shot from a low perspective trying to get his rack against the sky but this was as low as I could go and still have a pleasing shot. I think it worked well and the alert ears add a lot to the buck’s pose.

Click on the image for better quality.

Whitetail. Canon 7D | 70-200/2.8L | ISO 400

Until next time…get outdoors and keep shooting. –KEVIN

ImageSpotlight: Wind Turbines

These wind turbines have cropped up around a small stretch of ranch country along the southernTexas coast. I decided to incorporate them into a scenic image and stopped along a stretch of road one early morning. As I was composing the photo a flock of birds flew through the scene and added just a little extra something to the image.

Until next time, keep shooting… –KEVIN

Click on the image for a better view.

Wind Turbines. Canon 7D | 24-70/2.8L | ISO 400