I’ve taken a forced break from this series due to the Deer cull that occurs every November in Richmond Park. Wildlife photography is hard enough without being literally stopped in your tracks by a locked gate. It’s definitely worth noting for anyone travelling to Richmond Park that November and February are best avoided, unless of course you don’t mind shooting when the sun is a little higher in the sky. You can find some more info on the cull, park opening times and a statement from the Park here.
Now that we know the months which are best avoided I thought I’d give some useful advice on where you can find the Deer. Richmond Park is big, very big. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve been asked, “where are the Deer?”. You may think that with around 630 you’d be bumping into one around every corner. Sadly this is not the case. I am often telling people that they’ll need to walk for 40 mins before they see any. That being said if you know where to look you really cannot fail.
I’ve circled areas on this map which I regularly visit. If you walk through all four I would be extremely surprised to hear that you saw none. At different times of the day the Deer will be in different places but walk around these areas and you’re bound to find a few, or a few hundred. Click on the image to see a larger version.
Here I have highlighted the areas of Richmond Park which I most often visit. Please click on the map to see a larger image
So, how would I describe my last outing? Ironically, it was very tricky to find the Deer. I did eventually but by that time the sun was not in the best position and unfortunately they were mostly located in my least favourite location (see map). One interesting site was this guy. I saw him from a distance and spent some time trying to catch him up. It was almost as if he was slightly embarrassed by his newly found hat.
I saw this guy from a distance and spent five minutes trying to catch up with him. To be honest he seemed a little camera shy and I can see why
Once I had stopped smiling I headed to a location I knew the deer would be in. It may be my least favourite (see map) but when all else fails, why not? Using the techniques I spoke of in my last article (backtrack – “Deer Hunter – We are not alone”) I managed to get very close. I sat down and waited until they became comfortable with my presence and then patiently awaited my moment. Wildlife photography is different to many other types and may make you feel as though you’re going too slow. Realistically we know we have no control over these animals, so why rush? Take your time, get settled and try to relax. You often have to wait a long time for the right moment. The key thing to remember is always be ready. Your moment could come and go in the blink of an eye.
Here are some of the shots I managed to get. They’re not amazing but you can’t always expect for things to work in your favour.