The Red Deer rutting season has come to an end. No more bellowing in the misty and dark blue hour before dawn. No more warm breaths lit by the rising sun. No more peeing on yourself with no one questioning your behavior (deer, not photographers). No more chasing away competitors with smaller antlers. No more dressing up with grasses and herbs. No more trying to keep your harem within the confines of the forest. Although the weather and deer did not play along as well as in previous years, it was again a joy to photograph and every drive to the location was made with great anticipation to what the morning would bring. In the end, the image that best conveys the essence of the rut is the one above. Taken long before dawn, lots of noise from ISO 6400, only 80% sharp due to 1/5s. But still, the steam coming from a body overheated from nocturnal activities, the dark atmosphere, the regal posture of the undisputed king of the forest, that’s what the rut is all about to me. I’m finding myself more and more partial to those ‘imperfect’ images, instead of the technically perfect, almost plasticized, images that modern technology makes possible. I’ll be doing a lecture about the subject this Saturday and look forward to explore the idea deeper in the near future.

Doe-nut; Canon 5D Mark III w. 500/4L IS; ISO 6400