Doug Gardner

Capturing Deer and Pronghorn

Doug Gardner
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Duration:   9  mins

For biologist and wildlife guide Reed Chambers, the pronghorn is one of his favorite animals in the Grand Teton National Park. In this video, pro wildlife photographer Doug Gardner and Reed Chambers show you how to photograph the pronghorn deer using their wildlife photography techniques. They come across a pronghorn deer herd during rutting season, an active buck and his herd of does. The buck is identified by a black scent patch on his neck. The does will almost always give birth to twins, but only a few survive. The coyotes kill nine out of ten fawns. In the vast park range, the weather is constantly changing, meaning you have to pay careful attention to your exposure readings. Doug shows you examples as he photographs pronghorns in their routines.

Doug and Reed move out of the sage grass valley and into a stand of lodgepole pines where they locate a buck mule deer. Since the natural light is darker, Doug faces an exposure problem. He brings his f-stop down to as low as 2.8 and keeps the shutter speed higher to stop down the deer’s movements. Reed shows you how to identify a mule deer, the animal having large mule-like ears. He points out the physical differences between mule deer and whitetail deer, and Doug focuses on close-ups of the distinct markings.

When the men discover a doe and two fawns, Doug captures images of their behavior as they move through the trees feeding on herbaceous plants and buds. The deer are gray and tend to blend into the grays and greens of the forest. Camera settings are critical, and you have to be ready for the quick movements. Doug meters for neutral tones off the gray fur of the deer. Hike into the Tetons with Doug and Reed for an adventure in photographing deer.


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