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Stag mid Bellow

By harrattp  
Hi all.

Whilst out with my friends (Mossyoak, Maiwand & Teocali) a few weeks ago Stag hunting, I had a moment of madness and got up close and personal with a Stag and a 105mm macro.

This particular Stag was obviously shattered from charging about bellowing for the females and decided the time had come to take a rest. I took the opportunity to drop down and close in slowly as I wanted to safely get close and feel the raw power of the beast. He permitted me to get close about 6 feet and capture him mid bellow; boy did he need a tic tac mint. Afterwards I backed off slowly and allowed him to rest in peace.

I chose this image to upload because of the low POV and the clarity showing the saliva string in his mouth. I realise the sky is rubbish but you canít have everything, and I prefer to show what I capture not what I can do in Photoshop; which to be honest is minimal anyway.
Well have a good look and let me know what you think.


I would add that no animals were harmed in the capturing of this image!

Tags: Animal General Close-up and macro Bushy park Red stag Wildlife and nature

Voters: WindowonWildlife, jacques st-jean, User_Removed and 27 more

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30 Oct 2010 8:18PM
Nice to see an upload Paul Smile Cracking capture mate,excellent detail and timing !! Love it

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30 Oct 2010 8:20PM
I think he's superb!
Cracking capture darling.
L&K Gillxx
cantona43 Plus
12 925 4 England
30 Oct 2010 8:29PM
this is superb ,i would not worry too much about the sky as the subject is spot on
pluckyfilly 11 351 33 United Kingdom
30 Oct 2010 8:34PM
great shot BUT I do think you were taking a huge risk Paul, you got away with it this time and no doubt you were careful but consider the damage an animal of this size can do.
30 Oct 2010 8:36PM
Very well captured shot...Brilliant!!
harrattp 11 11 4 England
30 Oct 2010 8:36PM
Thank you all, Ann I was careful to make sure he was well and truly shattered before I closed in, but thank you for your concern.

lonely_oryx 10 61 55 England
30 Oct 2010 9:41PM
Well worth taking the risk
30 Oct 2010 10:26PM
A excellent capture
30 Oct 2010 10:45PM
Hi Paul , just wow, absolutely stunning, this getting up close seems to be catching, me im still wary, not ready for an epitath yet lol regards to both gray.
30 Oct 2010 10:48PM
Great capture Paul! Smile
30 Oct 2010 10:59PM
Great POV Paul

teocali Plus
10 441 18 England
30 Oct 2010 11:08PM
Superb capture Paul - great detail and rich saturated tones. Great POV and I clearly remember your interesting pose whilst taking the shot - LOL Wink
RonnieAG Plus
8 154 118 Scotland
30 Oct 2010 11:49PM
Great shot, Paul, very nicely timed.
Shroomer 11 14 167 England
31 Oct 2010 8:20AM
You were perfectly safe with this one, remember it well crouched next to you watching our 6. I still think he's yawning at the fact another camera was on him Smile
Fine detail and saturation Paul
31 Oct 2010 11:21AM
A lovely photo.
We went to Margam Park to see the deer but they weren't a fraction as lovely as this.
Maiwand 11 3 73 England
31 Oct 2010 1:31PM
I prefer to show what I capture not what I can do in Photoshop; . Quote
Full marks for both the shot and your comment Paul.
31 Oct 2010 9:38PM
Most effective and the subject is the interest point - not the technical plusses an minusse of the sky - great iamge.
1 Nov 2010 5:10PM
What a super shot.
Gezina 11 3 6 United Kingdom
1 Nov 2010 9:35PM
My word that is it youre not coming to Africa - thought I was a dare devil at times but like to stay reasonably safe..... a magical close up of a real brut - well captured mate - Ina
Ray42 10 3 England
2 Nov 2010 12:33PM
Excellent - African safari with a macro stalking lion!!!!!! lol
TerryMcK 9 72 2 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2010 12:04PM
A very fine capture indeed, Paul.
justin c 14 4.9k 36 England
21 Nov 2010 12:27PM
I'm not sure a 100mm lens was the best option in this instance for the following reasons;
1) The narrower field of view of a longer lens would have been beneficial in excluding the white sky and tree protection guard, neither of which add anything to the scene and detract from the main point of interest.
2) For your safety and to minimize any disturbance or stress caused to the animal, particularly as he was already exhausted, a longer lens would have been a much better option.

Just because you can get close, doesn't mean that you have to.

Just my opinion for what it's worth.
DRicherby 9 269 725 United Kingdom
21 Dec 2010 5:59PM
I think you'll find you were more than 6ft away, at least when this photograph was taken. At that distance, your field of view is about 2'x1'5 at the focal plane, which isn't nearly enough to include the whole stag.

However, I agree with Justin that it was irresponsible to approach the animal so closely. Your judgment (some might say, 'gamble') about your personal safety turned out to be correct. However, as you know, he would have attacked you had you come this close to him while he was not exhausted. By approaching to a distance where he wanted to attack you, you were causing it unnecessary distress.

And I must admit to being confused by the apparent contradiction between MossyOak's endorsement of this shot and his condemnation of photographers getting too close in his comment here .
harrattp 11 11 4 England
22 Dec 2010 9:12PM
Take a chill pill people, you may have read I said "about 6 feet" clearly I MUST have been further away than I estimated. As for causing the animal distress; I don't think so! the animal showed no signs of distress and I was especially careful not to cause any. As for "By approaching to a distance where he wanted to attack you, you were causing it unnecessary distress." I feel sure that if I had encroached on his "space" he would have charged; tired or not. I was taking particular care to read his body language to avoid distress.

That said, thanks for the comments.


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