Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Wary deer

with 21 comments

Deer Staring 9521

The scattered canyons and woods in my hilly northwestern part of Austin are home to many white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus. On July 24th, when I drove over to park on Harrogate Dr. to visit an adjacent waterfall, I spotted this deer, which also spotted me and kept staring warily. I was too busy trying to get a decent picture to notice at the time that some sunlight came through the deer’s upraised ears and created a reddish cast in them that the shaded tree trunks in the background further enhanced.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 27, 2014 at 4:20 AM

21 Responses

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  1. Nice shot of a difficult, and not often obliging, subject. D

    Pairodox Farm

    August 27, 2014 at 5:27 AM

    • Thanks, D. Sounds like you’re speaking from experience. Fortunately there are enough deer in my area that I get occasional chances to keep trying.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 27, 2014 at 6:20 AM

  2. Thery deer.
    Nice. I had an encounter like this once with a young buck. I wasn’t expecting it so didn’t have a camera out of the pack. I now always have an S95 in my pocket. Kudos for this nice portrait of a deer.

    Steve Gingold

    August 27, 2014 at 5:27 AM

    • But you probably won’t tell us about some of the encounters you had when you were a young buck.

      Okay, flippancy aside, I’ll add that when I drove up I didn’t have my telephoto lens on the camera but I stayed low by the side of the car away from the deer and changed to my telephoto, then eased my way out into the open and slowly approached.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 27, 2014 at 6:12 AM

  3. Lovely. I didn’t do so well trying to photograph a magpie. It was very obliging but my camera was not.


    August 27, 2014 at 7:09 AM

  4. It looks healthy with a nice shiny coat.

    Jim in IA

    August 27, 2014 at 7:31 AM

  5. For some reason (the combination of shade and bright sunlight, I suspect) this photo “pops” in a way most don’t. It has an almost 3-D appearance, and reminds me of the dioramas seen in natural history museums.
    The deer’s beautiful. I’m always surprised by the slenderness of their legs.


    August 27, 2014 at 8:05 AM

    • Pop goes the deer rather than the weasel, you might say. Now that you bring up the notion of 3-D, I can see the deer’s head poking forward out of the two-dimensional frame of the picture. Like you, I noticed how slender parts of the deer’s legs are. Apparently they’re sturdy enough to support the body even as these animals go bounding off through the woods.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 27, 2014 at 4:01 PM

  6. At first I thought your photo was a painting, probably because of that shimmer – such a lovely creature, she is!


    August 27, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    • Interesting that you saw this image as a painting. Some photographs can be quite painterly, no doubt about it, and in this case it seems the photograph’s subject influenced your perception in that way.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 27, 2014 at 4:05 PM

  7. She’s far less wary than the deer around here! You must be spoiling them…


    August 27, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    • These deer often wander through the streets and yards of the neighborhood, so I guess they’re at least a little more used to people than deer in the wild are. Some people feed them, but I believe there’s a city ordinance against that because of the high numbers of deer.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 27, 2014 at 9:52 PM

      • We’ve got a huge problem with deer in the Greater Victoria area (British Columbia). Victoria is called “The Garden City” and the deer are helping themselves to all sorts of flowers with great abandon. A couple of years ago, there was an overpopulation of rabbits (discarded Easter bunnies), but a lot of them were exported to Texas (really!), where someone was willing to take them on.


        August 29, 2014 at 11:58 AM

        • That’s a good story about your exported bunnies. I guess there’s no tariff on them in Texas.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 29, 2014 at 12:03 PM

  8. Beautiful shot Steve! Like a deer in the headlights 🙂

    Michael Glover

    August 27, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    • That’s what a friend of mine said on the phone a few hours ago. I took the picture in the daytime, so the only thing that could have served as a headlight was the brightness of my personality.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 27, 2014 at 10:10 PM

  9. What a sweet — and unexpectedly patient and trusting — subject and portrait! It looks as though she was curious about you, heh! 🙂


    September 12, 2014 at 12:06 PM

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