Waking early and fairly wide awake, I decided to take a chance to pay a visit to the deer at Woburn Park; just a few miles beyond the M1; it seemed it had rained earlier, so I thought it might stay dry for a while. Arriving at the car park, I was greeted by a red sky, but as I assembled my camera, it disappeared and was replaced by the familiar English shades of grey murk, before I had even reached the path through the woods!
I arrived at the small pond by the visitors’ gate and set up the tripod and before the deer were spooked by my presence took a few shots of them at rest largely in silhouette, and despite my moving slowly and carefully they began leaving towards the open space of the field beyond the pond, some had been in the water and they began jumping out which definitely added to the atmosphere of fear amongst the rest. I moved slowly towards the kiosk in a few stages, shooting when at rest. It was during this exodus that I spotted three stags that were lame, and mentioned it to a passing Ranger. It was very low light and therefore I was using 3200 ISO and occasionally 4000! So the quality is none too high.
A few early athletes came by and jogged along the lower path and we exchanged greetings as they passed; the most unusual passerby was taking a pony for a stroll, so he and his pony now feature alongside the deer. After watching some of the activities amongst the deer and choosing key moments, hopefully shown something of the story of what was happening – one stag for example was moving to protect his doe.
Soon after that I felt the onset of rain, my subjects were also disappearing into the distance and discretion was definitely the better part of valour, because I value my kit and it is a long trek back to the car! So I closed the tripod legs and headed back. Arriving back at base, a car drew up at the house and outstepped my accountant Penny, so my timing was spot on, but by pure chance!