Or so the saying goes. I’ve learned the hard way to keep a camera handy. Wildlife action is hard enough to capture without fumbling around for gear as the critical moment comes and goes.
The whitetail deer that call our property home love to take short-cuts across our pond after winter turns it into an icy meadow. The yearlings take particular delight in an acrobatic dash from one side to the other. When I noticed a small band of yearlings poised to do just that, I grabbed some gear and headed out the back door, adjusting camera settings as I went.
By the time I got in position, they had already started across and quickly broke into the deer equivalent of a cantor. Getting the whole group into a shot wasn’t practical at that point, so I picked out the trailing animal, got a good focus lock, started to frame, pan, and shoot. Frankly I wasn’t sure what I had at that point, but later examination revealed a goodly number of keepers.
Images of this type are usually presented as a sequential set of individual images, but I was struck by the fact that the group had pretty much all followed the same track, and the background was uniform in each shot – just an expanse of snow. I wondered what would happen if I tried to create a panorama. The automatic merge in Photoshop worked fairly well, but additional work was needed to blend the match lines, and smooth the background.
I’m pretty tickled by the result (remember this is the same animal in different positions). Call it serendipity, dumb luck, or whatever you conclude it is. Sometimes it just happens that way. Photography is a fortuitous enterprise after all.
For the record – Canon 7D,100-400@400mm, ISO 800, +1EV, 1/2500:F5.6, Images imported and adjusted in Adobe Lightroom 3.2, and merged to panorama in Adobe Photoshop CS4.