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Solitary Stag

By conrad  
Not quite solitary, actually (if you look carefully, especially in the large version, you can see that he was accompanied by another stag, lower down on the slope, to the right of the stag in front), but I just couldn't resist using an alliteration for the title. Smile

It was good to see my friend from November again, and this time he was kind enough to stay close for a while, which allowed me to shoot him without even changing lenses.

It was still Friday, the first day of the Rowardennan meet, and I hadn't even been to Rowardennan yet, but it was nice to end the day with a few shots of this beautiful animal. It's only since last year that I've been able to get some shots of wildlife, and since wild animals in my own country are rare - especially those of the four-legged kind, it impresses me greatly when I come across them.

Anyway - this was shot with my 10-20mm, using a grad filter (Cokin 121F [I didn't want a horizontal line on the stag], and on-board flash.

I removed some unwanted objects from the foreground, cropped a little off the bottom, and gave the image some very slight tweaks. I also put it through Noiseware, since the sky was quite noisy.

Versions: 1 is the Noiseware version, 2 is the post-processed version with the noise still in it, and 3 is the original.

Comments and mods welcome, as always!

Tags: Scotland Wildlife Glencoe Flash Red Rowardennan Stag Deer Male Solitary Landscape and travel Wildlife and nature Flash and lighting Rowardmar08

Voters: TelStar, Pegon, fishy2 and 50 more

Readers' Choice Awards are given to photos that get over 30 votes

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fishy2 10
12 Mar 2008 4:00PM
stunning shot.

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Simon-Gimson 11 236 1 England
12 Mar 2008 4:06PM
this is amazing so stunning great work and colors

Si Wink
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
12 Mar 2008 4:16PM
The 10-20? Amazing! I'll go with #2.

SandyMiller 12 932 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2008 4:23PM
I love this. I especially like the way you have exposed it with the grad and fill flash. Excellent picture.
Coleslaw 12 13.4k 28 Wales
12 Mar 2008 4:23PM
not bad at all.
JouŠo 14 56 Finland
12 Mar 2008 4:30PM
major work!!

forestrich 11 2 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2008 5:05PM
Superb image. Great work.

Tooth 13 5.8k 227 Ireland
12 Mar 2008 5:08PM
Beautiful Conrad, I would have loved tio have been there..

KenTaylor Plus
13 3.1k 2 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2008 5:35PM
The chap from the mobile cafe feeds these two that no doubt attract custom for him. Not happy myself with the taming process by feeding that could suddenly stop for whatever reason. This is the boss who will attack if food is thrown to the younger one who keeps a distance at all times.
I was supposed to be at Rowardennan but several issues scuppered it.
I do have my annual trip in May though when I might say hello to this gent again.
lonely_oryx 10 61 55 England
12 Mar 2008 5:50PM
Great light and background. Rather than cropping the road off and making the hooves near the bottom edge, as in #2, I would clone out the road with some of the moss
Maddie 13 2.7k 2 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2008 5:55PM
love it Smile
User_Removed 10 78 1 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2008 6:03PM
Nice shots
MrsS 11 4.5k 18 England
12 Mar 2008 6:09PM
Love the light, Conrad, gr8 capture Smile

Fran x
rowarrior 10 4.4k 9 Scotland
12 Mar 2008 6:28PM
Great light on the stag, like how his antlers are the same shape as the valley between the hills behind him
TrevorPlumbe 11 60 England
12 Mar 2008 7:09PM
Pleased to be no 30, great shot
MrsMad 11 24 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2008 8:29PM
What a wonderful shot Conrad I like the way the flash has captured the light on his antlers.

However, after our trip to the Galapagos Islands I would not have used a flash as it was frowned upon there and in the Rain Forest. The reason being it could stress the animals etc.

conrad 13 10.9k 116
12 Mar 2008 9:57PM
Thanks, everyone!

Patrick, if I don't take the sky into consideration, I agree with your preference.

Stephen - Maybe I should have suggested you accompany me.

Ken - I know exactly what you mean, but what can you do. I, as a photographer, at least do what makes sense: I photograph the animal! Smile

John - Although I did crop, I did do the rest of what you suggest: obscure the kerb stones with moss and gravel. Maybe you'd want more foreground, but to me this is enough. I appreciate the suggestion, though.

Robbie - I can see the sense in not doing that there, or with animals of which you don't know if it might scare them, but this animal is so obviously used to it, that I didn't see the problem with using a flash. He's been photographed many, many times already, and many tourists have cameras with automatic flash. He doesn't blink or move when a flash goes off, he's quite comfortable with it. With any other animal I would have thought twice about using flash, but I knew it was okay in this case.
KJackson 10 7 1 England
13 Mar 2008 11:26AM
Version 2 for me Conrad, great shot
conrad 13 10.9k 116
13 Mar 2008 11:48AM
Interesting, interesting. Another preference for 2.

Thanks, Karen!
Richsr 11 91 223 England
13 Mar 2008 4:04PM
Like the details in this - well captured.
Regards Richard.
conrad 13 10.9k 116
13 Mar 2008 9:20PM
Thanks, Richard!

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