Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Tale of a Newborn Fawn and The Canon 5D MK III

This morning after the deer left the meadow, I decided to take a walk through the nearby woods.  The Canon T3i with 100-400mm lens was on the video tripod as it  is one of the most versatile lenses for this type of work. I had gone a short distance when I noticed a doe lying flat on the ground about 75 yards away.

This  happened much quicker than I can write it, but I put the tripod into shooting position while looking at the deer.  She was in a brushy area, which made it hard to be sure exactly what I was seeing, but she tried to get up at least twice before succeeding and I am almost certain that I saw a fawn fall out of her.  Whatever the case--once she left there was no doubt that I could see a  fawn still wet from the birthing fluids and it was so unsteady that it staggered about  as it tried to keep its' footing.  I took quite a bit of Video, utilizing the 3x crop factor ,which is available in video mode and then I slowly worked closer.    I found the fawn resting in the understory.  I did not approach it close enough to frighten it,  but I was close enough to use the 24-105 so I mounted it on the T3i. To my surprise, as I was doing this, the fawn  got up and walked to me with shaky steps. I was not able to get sharp still photos of this, as the shutter speed was too low to stop the motion, but I mostly took video and it turned out well. The fawn walked about mewing and at one point actually nuzzled my pants legs before it walked off a short distance and laid down again.

Newborn Fawn: Canon T3i--24-105mmLat 65mm ISO 320
After taking several stills and a lot of video, I left the T3i in position on the tripod and carefully retreated to the nearby meadow where my vehicle was parked and got my Canon 5D MKIII and 70-200mm F2.8 L lens with Gitzo tripod and Wimberley head, as an encounter like this is so rare that I wanted to try for the best quality possible and this camera is supposed to excel in less than ideal lighting conditions.  (I had originally not carried it as it seemed likely that any opportunity would be at long range and I wanted the added range of the 3x crop, which is available in the Rebel body--why didn't they put this feature in the 5D MKIII?--had they done so it definitely would be my favorite camera.)

At any rate, the fawn was still there, but not in quite the same position and I took a few shots before retreating.

Newborn Fawn: Canon 5DMKIII-Canon 70-20mm F2.8 at 73mm ISO 200

Newborn Fawn: Canon 5DMKIII-Canon 70-20mm F2.8 at 200mm ISO 200
 It is an exciting time as the young animals are born.  Soon it will be time to look for the bachelor groups of mature whitetail bucks as they roam the remote backcountry meadows in early morning and late evening, but for now the arrival of the young is the focus of attention.

Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.