I saw this big Buck standing in a farm field watching me as I drove past, and I really wanted to make a great portrait of him. Unfortunately the whole herd of Deer took off running shortly after I stopped. It was already past sunset and really quite dark, so my shutter speeds were very slow. Instead of trying to make really sharp images I worked on making some pan-blurs (where the background is blurred by panning along while the main subject moves, keeping the subject relatively sharper) as they ran past me instead. I really like the granularity of the final image and to me it has a great vintage look and feel.
I took a trip Southwest of Calgary in search of Mountain Bluebirds as they are very common in that part of the city. I really enjoy making images of Bluebirds because they are very curious and they allow their visitors a very close approach. It helps that they are such bright and vibrantly colored birds that they are generally pretty easy to find.
The main reason I decided on this adventure on this particular day was because it was one of those hazy, gray, high overcast days where it’s really bright out, but you never actually see the sun. It was the perfect kind of day to make images of birds on or near the ground, and in particular for brightly colored birds like Bluebirds. And conversely it would have been a pretty bad day for making scenic landscape images or images of birds in flight (or even perched high in a tree) against a white background. I had heard many reports that the Bluebirds were already back in the area, so I packed up and headed out to a favorite location that I visited several times last year.
I found several pairs of bluebirds within minutes of my arrival in the area and I had several opportunities to make good images of both males and females. As is typical for many species of birds, male bluebirds are much brighter and more vibrant than the females.
Even though I found my intended target right away, my success didn’t last long and I found only a few more Bluebirds during the rest of the trip. I found one final pair just as I had decided to head for home.
I had a bit of a surprise when I found a Greater Yellowlegs in the glassy waters of a slough. This is another species that I had heard were back in the area, but this was the first that I’ve seen this season. They are very commonly found throughout the region later in the season, but there aren’t many around this early in the spring migration. This one posed very nicely for me and I made some of the best images I have of these elegant birds.
I saw several herds of Mule Deer in the farm fields while I was searching for Bluebirds. Mulies seem to be more common to the west of the city than to the east, and I haven’t been able to get this close to them very often. I have lots of images of White-tailed Deer, which thrive in the flat praire farmland to the east of the city, but I don’t have very many of Mule Deer. This solitary deer had become separated from a fairly large herd of animals that were further off in the same field. The rest of the deer wandered away when I stopped to watch, but this one kept eating and only occasionally looked up at me.
After the rest of the herd had crossed the road and disappeared into the brush, this one also decided that it should be on its way. I was lucky enough to make some very cool images of it jumping the fences on both sides of the road. All in all it was a great day to be outside!
As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve been seeing huge herds of deer lately. Not only are the herds large, but there are also lots of them. Deer are generally pretty skittish; they often take off running as soon as you even start to slow your vehicle down, and if you actually stop the car they are gone! Not lately though. I guess its a bit of herd mentality kicking in because it seems that as long as there are more than about 10 deer together, they don’t seem to mind posing for a few pictures before slowly wandering away.
Yesterday I was able to stop my truck and enjoy a few quiet minutes with two different large herds of at least 30 animals.
This large buck watched me for a little while, but he never bothered to walk away, even when the rest of his family left.