Oh deer…

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BH deer1

I believe I am correct in stating that there is still a ban on hunting deer on Mount Desert Island and in Acadia National Park. I don’t think I have ever made a trek to Acadia to photograph the landscape when I haven’t encountered deer on the roadside as I drive. I can pretty much guarantee that if I’m going to be driving on Mount Desert Island before dawn or after dusk, I’ll see deer near the road. I haven’t come close to hitting anything with the car yet, but that’s likely due to luck and the fact that I drive quite defensively in expectation of encountering deer. When I came across these two beauties they were enjoying an evening stroll and a snack in an open field near Seawall. I pulled the car over, reached for my longest lens (70-200mm f4), and snapped away, hoping that I could convey the quiet and tranquility of what was a very calming scene.

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23 thoughts on “Oh deer…

  1. David, nice shot which coveys your intent well. Question (not critisism). Why leave so much sky? I get the soft glow of light as my eyes trend upward, but then see a lot of sky. Most photographers would crop the top!

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Michael. Questions (even criticism), is ALWAYS appreciated, so thanks for the question. Here’s my reasoning, some of which is practical, and some of which is creative… even with my longest lens, the deer were still quite a ways from me, rendering them relatively small in any composition I chose. The fog was everywhere, totally enveloping the scene, so I wanted to try and convey a feeling of having everything all wrapped up in it – hence the inclusion of so much space above the deer. When it comes to composition, I’ve always appreciated that if each of us were looking at exactly the same scene, we would all make a different photograph. Deciding which elements to include within the frame… and how they interact with each other within that space… now that’s the fun part 🙂

    • David Patterson

      Yeah… there’s not a lot of feel-good on the news these days. Glad you got a sense of calm from this one.

  2. Many a pre-dawn ride to the top of Cadillac or the Otter Ledges has been the same experience, David. No close calls either but I do worry about the folks in a rush at the last minute.
    Nice mood and it is a very familiar scene.

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Steve. Now that I think about it, I don’t remember ever seeing evidence of deer being hit. Maybe they’re smarter than we think!

  3. A friend writes to tell me that there may be limited hunting permitted on MDI over the winter months for the first time EVER. The deer population is getting close to being unsustainable. However, there have been confirmed sightings of gray wolves in and outside of the park. Obviously, the return of a few large predators would help. And of course there are coyote and they take out young or sick deer. Needless to say it is a controversial issue.

    • David Patterson

      Gray wolves you say… that’s cool, but at the same time a little unnerving. I’ve always felt very comfortable hiking in the “wilds” of Acadia due to the fact that there aren’t any big animals to really be wary of. Now, I know that wolves would likely avoid human contact at all costs, but still… now I’ll be wondering what that rustling sound in the woods is 😉

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