Moments are brief, they arrive unannounced, and if you don’t pay attention they’ll be gone before you even notice them.
So also with this one, which occurred on February 21, a Friday, just before 7 pm,. In a time span of more or less what it takes to shake your head and wonder what just happened, a family of four deer had arrived, hurried past, and disappeared into the dark again. The time stamps of these photos go from 18:54:05 to 18:54:44, an entire little eternity which lasted all of 39 seconds.
Add to that the time it took for me to notice and identify the faint, barely visible shadows at the edge of the forest, and get my camera out of the bag (which I carry with me most of the time for just such occasions), set a high ISO to compensate for the low light, and start shooting, and we’re talking about just under a minute.
All photos © Bjørnar Andre Haveland
Appearing by the power station, tentatively taking one step after another as they aim to cross the road at the hither side of the field, and continue to the forest on the other side. It was pretty dark, considerably darker than in the pictures, and shadows at that distance tend to lose themselves among other shadows.
At this point they hardly move, checking for signs of danger. Apparently a 6′4″ human with a Nikon for a nose, at 150 meters (164 yards) distant, does not make enough of a presence to disturb them.
First one is away! Presumably Papa Deer, making the first dash toward the halfway point at the side of the road. Second runner — I’m guessing Mama Deer — followed in the tracks of the first, mere seconds later, and the last two were hot on her heels, wasting no time.
Claiming right of way, and taking it, not at all deterred by the approaching cars. Fortunately the driver of this Volkswagen spotted them from a safe distance and slowed down to a soft halt less than five metres from the animals, who in turn wasted no time getting across.
Five metres, and I was at a hundred and fifty. I did feel a small sting of envy at the driver’s far superior vantage point, with the deer practically under his nose. I certainly hope he appreciated his luck.
Well over on the other side, it was like watching a flock of birds heading for the safety of the trees, and with neither fanfare nor ceremony, less than a minute after I first noticed them, they were gone.
Close-up of the hoof-prints where they crossed the road. This is just one of the things that I love about living in the countryside. You don’t get to see this happening in the city.
Camera: Nikon D7000, Lens: Nikkor DX 18–135mm 1:3.5–5.6G ED, ISO: 3600
Shutter: 1/200s, Aperture: 1:5.6, Focal length: 135mm (202mm equivalent)