Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rainy Weather Brings Dramatic Photo Opportunities

I will confess that I almost didn't leave the house as it was raining lightly at 4:30 this morning and more rain was in the forecast.  It was tempting to devote the morning to catching up on video and  photo editing instead, but in the end my desire to photograph wildlife won out and dawn found me overlooking a meadow that is my favorite wildlife photography spot.  By this time it was raining much harder--alternating between moderate to heavy showers, so I settled down with a John Grisham book, while waiting to see what developed.  Shortly after dawn I spotted a herd of deer in the distance and eventually they came close enough that I could photograph a fine four-point buck.

Four-point Buck In Rain
After a short period, the deer left and I began reading again. Iwas almost ready to leave for home, when I saw a superb mature Eastern Wild Turkey gobbler coming over the hill to my left.  I slowly slid the 7D and 70-200mm lens into position and recorded several segments of video and then switched to the 40D and 300mm F2.8 for some still photos.

Eastern Wild Turkey Gobbler In Rain
While the lighting quality in these photographs may not be as good as in brighter conditions, I think the rain adds a wild, mysterious atmosphere.  At this point the morning was an unqualified success, but there was even more to come.

I noticed that although the rest of the deer had gone to the woodlands, one doe was lying down in a distant meadow, which was a bit unusual.  I went back to reading and in time I noticed that she was now in the same meadow that I was. At first it appeared that she was grooming herself, but then I looked closer and saw that she was grooming something close to the ground.  It had to be a fawn and I have never seen a fawn in this area this early.  I fact I seldom see one before May 30th, and most are born within a few days of June 8th.  This excited even a 60 year old veteran wildlife photographer, so I hurriedly removed the 70-200mm from the 7D , mounted the 500mmF4, slammed it on the tripod, and  looked through the finder.  There definitely was a beautiful young fawn with the doe!  By the time I was ready to begin photographing and filming them, they had stopped grooming and moved slowly through the meadow, stopping from time to time.

Doe With First Fawn Of Year

This ended the exciting wildlife photography so I checked out the nearby streams and they were running bank full, but not yet in flood stage.

Heavy Spring Rains Brings High Water

In the photo below one can see a stream of water running from the cropland, which means the ground is completely saturated and continued heavy rainfall will result in significant flooding.

Dramatic Light After A Shower
Many do not go afield on such days, and I almost didn't go today, but this experience proves that exciting photographic opportunities may  be found during unpleasant weather as well.

Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill