Taking Trophy Photo'son Sep 9, 2012
Utilize Good Light
Unfortunately, most of the deer we harvest don’t coincide with ideal photo opportunities. If we shoot them early in the morning, we’re left to combat harsh, direct midday sunlight. If we shot them right before dark, then, well, it’s dark. To remedy this problem, you can use reflectors, an attachable flash, or your camera’s built in flash. However, my favorite tool is patience. Sometimes, you just have to wait until the right time of day for high quality photos. This is usually right at dusk.
Sunlight can be a curse or a blessing depending on how it is used in a photo. Be smart and use it to your advantage.
This past year my brother shot the biggest buck ever off of my family’s property; a beautiful 150” 15 point. He shot him early in the morning, but by the time we had recovered the buck, got him out of the woods (high quality shots in the woods during the day are difficult to achieve because of the long and harsh shadows) and cleaned up the sun was hot and high in the sky. Temperatures rose to the middle 60s that day. We decided to go ahead and field dress him to preserve the meat, and we spent the rest keeping him in the shade, and shoving bags of ice in his chest cavity to keep him cool so we could take photos at sunset. It made for a long, hot day, and we all sacrificed an afternoon of hunting, but it was worth it. We came away with beautiful shots of a great buck.
We as bowhunters put in a lot of time, effort, and energy trying to catch up with a mature deer, but when we do, boy, is it worth it. Coincidentally, it takes a little extra time, effort and energy to capture a beautiful harvest photo, but when you do, it is definitely worth it. I hope you consider some of the above tips and suggestions for taking your harvest photos this fall. These are by no means “rules and regulations”. Rather, they are just a little nudge in the right direction. Swallow your pride, be creative and I guarantee you’ll come away with some photos that will serve justice to the animal, and be the envy of all your hunting buddies!