Suckling Deer Surprise - Cramer Imaging - Quality Fine Art Photography
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Suckling Deer Surprise

Suckling Deer Surprise
The evening was warm and we had just set up for a landscape photo shoot by a local lake.  I was taking several exposure shots to make sure that everything was spot on for the final image I planned to shoot that day.  Suddenly I noticed some dots across the lake which I was concerned about.  There were several of them on the other shore-line and they were not the same color as the background.  What were those dots and would they ruin my landscape shot I was working so carefully on?

As I was having a minor panic attack over whether or not my carefully positioned and scoped out landscape angle was about to be destroyed, it hit me.  I had the means by which to find out what those dots were and not interrupt my scene.  I had brought my other camera and did not have my telephoto lens in use at the time.  I quickly set up to zoom in on those dots which I was pretty convinced were animals at this point.

The telephoto lens revealed that it was wild deer which had appeared on the other shore.  I became excited.  Here was the opportunity to get another kind of unanticipated photograph which, if it turned out well, could be an exceptional addition to my portfolio.  I set about attempting to nail this shot while I waited for the light to work out for the other landscape shot occupying my tripod.

As it turned out, my telephoto lens did not have the magnification power I wanted for the deer shot.  I stepped up to a 500 mm prime lens I have to see if that would do what I wanted with the photo.  The prime lens did make a noticeable difference but it was not the range I wanted.  I made the switch to another lens I had brought on a whim.  This is the "baseball bat" or an extreme telephoto lens, a common tool for wildlife photographers.  Using the extreme magnification end of this lens, I was able to get in close enough to see the deer as I wanted to.

I tried snapping away and hoped for a sharp image but my experience with this lens tells me that I needed my already occupied tripod for stabilization.  I was in a quandary.  Fortunately, my spouse had some other ideas which helped out a great deal.  We piled up some of the camera and other gear bags in a sandbag fashion and used that to stabilize the precarious "baseball bat" as I tried again for the deer photo.

The pile of bags did a lot to help stabilize and sharpen the images I was shooting.  As I watched, I spotted some deer I wanted to try and capture with my camera.  I noticed that three of them were congregating together in an unusual manner.  Then I saw what was going on.  Two of those deer were still fawns and seeking out their mother for milk.  This is a rare sight.  I did my best to get a clear shot of the action but the lens and camera were not stable enough for the crisp image I was hoping for.  Even though this picture did not turn out the way I was hoping, I knew I had to share it with my readers.

Cramer Imaging's wildlife photograph of suckling fawns and deer on a lake shore at Devil's Creek Reservoir, Oneida, Idaho

I don't try to claim that this is by any means a "good" photograph.  Not every picture I take, nor any other professional photographer takes, are top quality photos worthy of winning tons of awards.  This photograph is certainly not one I will be adding to my portfolio nor putting up for sale but it is a rare experience we had and managed to capture.  Suckling animals are difficult to find in the wild.  This activity is only allowed when the parent animal feels safe and secure enough that she and her babies will not be eaten during the process.  These deer probably had no idea that humans were at all anywhere nearby.