Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Little Luck, A Little Gear, First Buck Shot in the New Year

Probably one of the luckiest photos I've taken-and certainly a very patient and trusting young buck.
Driving downtown this morning and spotted a magnificent young eight-point buck in a group of about eight deer, mostly doe, and a couple yearlings.
By patient and trusting, I mean that he was kind enough to be still while I fumbled around and found my tripod in the back and, although I knew my camera was in the back of the car (with a not very helpful 28mm wide angle lens), my camera bag was at my office, and with it was my amazing, top-of-the-line-in-1972, 300mm manual focus Nikkor-H, full frame lens. But I did have, by chance alone, a very old, Vivitar Zoom (a 28-200mm (f/3.5), and unfortunately, not the Series 1). I figured, what the heck-I haven't had a chance to shoot in awhile, I'd see if I could get a shot of this deer.
Working in my favor was the fact that I shoot a lot of manual focus glass, so I found most of the settings by feel, and held my breath because I was shooting wide open on a very slow lens that I was only vaguely familiar with in poor light. Truth be told, I think I had the lens in the car because I was going to give it away at some point..but thats another story.
Not having my camera remote with me (again-in the bag at the office) I realized after making the first photo, that the buck was staring at me because of the camera's blinking focus assist light. The focus assist light on my camera blinks when using the timed shutter release setting-the buck was watching the blinking light!
This was my second picture after an ISO change. Knowing he probably wouldn't stand still very long, I was aware that I was probably pushing what little luck I had, so I pushed the ISO up to 800-hoping that was enough.
At roughly 35 yards, this deer was motionless for a little over 6 seconds-thanks mostly to a blinking focus-assist light and the fact that I forgot to bring my camera bag! 
(Shot info: Nikon D3100, 300mm @ 3 Seconds (f/4.5) (using a Vivitar 28-200 (f/3.5) MF MC Lens!).
Sometimes, a little (okay, a lot) of luck can be enough.

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