Boy this was tough lighting. When the late “Golden Hour” afternoon long traveled photons arrive, there is a tendency for them to be skewed significantly toward the reddish side of the spectrum. The fur colors of Pronghorn I’ve looked at very carefully over the years considering what different colorcast light does to it. This image runs the gamut literally.
Pronghorn fawns seem to be darker than their mother in every situation I’ve ever seen. This is about as red/tan as they EVER are. Even under this red light. Granted I’m just looking at my local population so it’s not a controlled observation. Pronghorn are generally very lightly colored tan. Darker animals are usually made that way by the photo editor boosting the color of the rest of the image. This brings along the coat to the color of a deer. I’ve seen some lighting turn them darker. Shade versus sunlight is another factor. In this image, it was the color of the sunlight that made it hard for me (the photo finisher) to get the animals to look the right color. If I let the raw image through un-edited they would have been VERY red.
All these Pronghorn are females. Males have dark cheek patches. There is still a lot of grass out on the prairie but there are a LOT of grasshoppers happily consuming already dry, headed out stunted grass.
IT’s obvious by the wear and tear on the wood under this hole that it has been landed on thousands of times. The relentless job of feeding young, the coming and going of small but strong claws grasping for purchase there. Someone took the time to hollow out this hole and I’m betting on Common Flickers being involved. That species is by far the most active Pecking bird that I see here in the borderlands.
Close/Far Perspectives are my stock and trade with cameras. I really enjoy working wide angle close focus lenses. Using natural lines drawing your eye to the vanishing point it a long used technique in both painting AND photography. I can think of no finer subject than a majestic tree that gave it’s life to become a home. I’m sure this abode will be here 20 years further on down the road as the tree itself is sound yet. Unprotected wood can survive perhaps 100 years in this dry climate. We have ranch / farm implements that old with wood parts remaining but that was hardwood. This tree is pine.
This tree has several other shelters contained within it’s natural architecture. Several other similar entrances grace it’s remaining substantial bulk as a 15 foot tall standing stump. It’s top laying off to the side bleaching in the summer sun, it’s branches slowly being rubbed off by cattle pushing against to scratch an itch. Wildlife trees are special places providing food and home to a host of backcountry creatures.
I’m always on the look out for framing deer inside of antlers of the foreground animal. A little out of season perhaps.
With all the cold weather coming in this image came to mind that spring isn’t that far away. The sage brush that time of year is a wonderful cyan/green color, the deer have all new coats. Their rapidly growing antlers are covered with the capillary blood vessel rich “Velvet” covering the bone under supplying it with nutrients.
Sometime later in the year they antlers will stop growing. The velvet starts to itch and they will rub those antlers tearing the velvet to ribbons. They will rub on any bush or tree unlucky enough to be in their path. Deer rubs on trees are good signs of deer activity and you can usually tell how recent they were.
Reminder: Photographic Musings (memorize this)
Terms you need to know: (F-stop) is your aperture size. The size of the “pupil” inside your lens. Big pupils (low fstop numbers) lets in a lot of light but your depth of focus is thin and shallow. (the eye is in focus but your ears are not). With a high F-stop number, you get a very deep field of focus/depth of field. The whole face and the trees behind the face are all in focus. This is because a high f-stop number makes a very small pin hole for a “pupil” in your lens. F-stop is one of three settings you adjust in Manual mode. It is a double edged sword, deeper focus field comes from having a small aperture “pupil” which means less light. Light is what your balancing here. The other two settings compensate for what your doing with f -stop in this case.
This “Mother Whitetail Deer with a pair of 6 month old Twins watches me while they are grazing. I was no threat to them and moved on without disturbing the kids…. Last I saw mom was still keeping her eye on the tail of my rig lol. I’ve seen these twins before and know where they water and tend to hang out. If I’m stealthy, I can usually get their image well enough without having to get in their face.
Both me (in what ever vehicle I’m in) and the groups of deer are usually surprised by the occasionally random encounters I have with them. For my part, They have never been pushed intentionally by me. Thusly they usually allow me to get much closer than the average photographer to my “prey” without stressing them and making them move off. Quick movements they don’t like.
This loose “tolerance” of my vehicles (which I never get out of unless it hides me). My loose relationship with many of these animals is the result of years of trying not to be a threat, them seeing me as they grow up every morning and evening. I tend to drive/act/move like a grazing animal in small movements, slowly working toward but stopping and stopping along the way to “graze” like every other animal out there. I’ve literally been able to drive out among several herds of grazing deer in the past. This year not so much but in past years it was becoming a habit of mine to “work” the deer herds. (I’ve seen herds up to 20 gather in some places near here (all private land and a huge area). Keeping my finger on the pulse of the backcountry up here has been an advantage. Dinosaur fossils, photos, 4 wheel drive daily, nature at least 3 hours a day every day that has good light….Sure, I’m “retired”….. Or is that actually “more tired” 🤣
This ground is under Snow as I type this (it posts one week later). Time Warp……I have to think a week ahead to do as I do. 🤔
Here’s a frozen motion shot of A Chase and Evasion During the Pronghorn Rut a week ago (from this post). The rear male actually wasn’t involved in this chase/evasion. The other three were just running past him in the slow lane… The three in the front were traveling about 50 mph (all out in other words) and the MUD WAS FLYING on the corners. This wasn’t running away from me, they didn’t care I was there…this was running away from the middle buck in the photo. Trying to get the attention of the gal between them. Fighting/rutting for the doe…. Flat out hauling white furry A** /cornering too….
Photographers notes: 1/2000th second F13, ISO 1000, 1200mm(fast) lens. About 200 yards out. Not a crop 🙂 Full Morning sun..
Tracking these guys with a 2 foot long, 13 pound camera/lens setup out of your jeep window is a challenge lol.
I run a network 26 Game Trail Camera (s) and I caught this burglar the other night. You would be amazed at the quality I can tweek out of some of the cameras. This is a 30 megapixel B+W version at midnight during a new moon (no light). Amazing stuff from the technology. Pitch black. Good capture. I have about 15 of this kind of camera up and running. I won’t endorse any of them though as they all do something different. Different tools all.
I took out the “White eye” effect from the Infra-red light used here in the digital darkroom. I hope that doesn’t offend you. I remove stuff like that because they are artifacts of the technology, not the way the scene would have looked to me . (I probably could see the back of my hand in that light lolol).
Yup, those are stars in the sky. It’s as dark up in this remote part of the borderlands of Wy/Mt as the north Atlantic Ocean according to NOAA published maps. Seeing stars on game trail cameras? He had to be absolutely frozen still when this shot went off or he would have blurred. This is a fairly long exposure. No question he was a statue frozen by the sound of the camera setting up lolol.
Location: way out in the backcountry, Bliss Dinosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands