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Thread: Muddy Stag

  1. #1
    BPN Member
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    Jan 2008
    Brussels, Belgium
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    Default Muddy Stag

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    Hi Guys,

    Last week I suddenly found myself with a free day in the Netherlands so took a quick trip to the High Veluwe National Park. During September there is a daily evening feeding ritual that brings the hinds and stags into the open. It is a lot of fun and can yield some nice images but there is no pretending this is a hard won struggle with nature to get them. The biggest difficulty is getting a relatively clean background.

    Nevertheless, this is a pleasing, but very conventional image of a fine stag that has just been wallowing in the mud. Beautiful rack and he seemed to have a very large harem with no challengers.

    The shot was with the Sony A9II, FE200-600 lens plus 1.4x converter to give 840mm. Tripod mounted, 1/1000 sec at f/9.0 with ISO 2000.

    Post production entailed Enhance feature in Lr, removed two distracting bright branches in the background, adjusted the tonality, sharpened in Lr then output to size and USM in PS.

    I look forward to your thoughts and comments,


  2. #2
    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    Somewhere in the world
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    Hi Gerald, looks like a good location yielding some nice image, albeit not too taxing in achieving the shot.

    Overall, perhaps a more looser crop Gerald, it's a bit tight at the foot & top IMHO. The killer for me is that the head is inline with the tree, without it and having more of the LH backdrop would have been better. I think as the subject was moving, albeit slowly a bit more SS ie 1/1600 would have been better, no harm in upping the ISO and just helps freeze things, irrespective of being on a tripod. Overall the colour looks a bit off and the BKG looks a bit sooty and very dark, not as clean as I would have expected. Again were you exposing as far to the right as [possible or using the zebra to obtain perfect exposure?

    Certainly a handsome fellow, love the mud caked legs and great to see such a majestic animal with an awesome rack, I bet the hinds would be falling over him.

    Post Production: It’s ALL about what you do with the tools and not, which brand of tool you use.

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  4. #3
    BPN Member William Dickson's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    Fife, Scotland
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    Looking good Gerald. Feels like a Scottish scene. I like the detail you captured on the Stag. Nice pose and natural looking. Apart from the tree, I don't mind the BG. I like the dark look. Yes to a wee bit more top and bottom.


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  6. #4
    Macro and Flora Moderator Jonathan Ashton's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Cheshire UK
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    A fine shot, the stag shows well in the environment. Just wondering how much NR applied, perhaps just a little too smooth? I just keep thinking is there a slight loss of texture in the image.

  7. Thanks Gerald Kelberg thanked for this post

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