RNPS - PICTURES OF THE YEAR 2014 - PHOTOGRAPHERS' STORY
A male red deer with antlers covered in bracken, walks through undergrowth in Richmond Park in south west London, in this October 3, 2014 file photo.
Although Richmond Park is only 3.69 square miles (9.56 square kilometres) wide and 650 deer graze there during the autumn deer rutting season, I spent nine hours on foot with my 500mm lens as well as shorter optics following the haunting and spine tingling barking of the male deer. Trying to find strong images of animal behaviour combined with attractive light and backgrounds.
The mist had long gone and the sun was dipping lower to the horizon when I found the male in the photograph in the undergrowth. I had followed him for roughly an hour before this frame, and an hour afterwards, hoping he would either get an even more impressive head-dress, pick a battle with another male or chase some potential mating partners...but eventually the light went and so did I shortly after. I think the bracken stuck amongst the deer antlers gives the picture a certain appeal by adding a little humour to a natural history photograph, with a hat-like appearance, plus the tongue out looks a little as if the deer is licking his lips! - Toby Melville REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN - Tags: SOCIETY ENVIRONMENT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
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