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Pauline Lerner

The abducted deer revisited

November 7, 2006 at 8:25 AM

My previous blog, dated 11/2/06, contains a photo of a deer being abducted by an alien ray. (See discussion.) Now I shall wax philosophical on serendipity, intent, and Adobe Photoshop.

Jim said Photographers not only have to take a picture of what they want to, they also have to not take a picture of what they don't want to, or at least catch it later, an abduction for example. I guess it's an extension of the theme of not having a telephone pole sticking out of your portrait subject's head.

The history of this photo is more complicated than Jim knew.

I stood photographing a small herd of deer as they looked at me. They held still, their postures signaling alertness and, possibly, alarm. I decided that it would be fun to photograph them fleeing, so I took a few slow, deliberate steps towards them. My strategy worked. They turned and ran. I photographed them in flight, turning and snapping the shutter quickly several times without stopping for fine maneuvers such as using my polarizing lens. I took about 22 photographs of them, and I have proof, in case you doubt me. I took the photos facing directly into the sun, which was low on the horizon, because I had no control over the scene. When I looked at the photos on my computer, I was disappointed because of the haze behind the running deer. In fact, my favorite photo was way overexposed and had a shaft of sunlit haze over one of the deer. Photoshop to the rescue! I made the entire photo dark enough to see what was there. Then I sharpened the haze and let the colors shine brightly. Voila! Artistic effect and technical know-how by the photographer.


Deer on the alert


Red dogwood


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