‘Realm of the Deer’ was one of my first photos I took in Richmond Park and still probably one of the most successful. For me it was one of those chance moments where luck plays the most important part. The stags had all lined up in what seemed a perfect formation with the lead stag face on in the middle. The light and mist over the hill and behind them was illuminated just right, keeping the color and textures of the forest visible.
In post process back in those days with my old Canon 5D, I did give a helping hand. For many of these misty shots I needed to pump up the contrast using some curves. I used a bit of selective color to bring out the autumnal reds of the leaves, too, along with saturation. Finally I cropped-in to make the stags a more prominent part of the photo but without losing the environmental scene.
I suppose it breaks the rule of thirds by having the main focal point a centered stag. Somehow it works though, mainly due to the framing of the trees and the formation of the other stags behind to support the central stag. I was using a 70-200mm f/4 at the 200mm focal length. Due to no image stabilization (IS), I had 320th sec and used f/5 in order to keep the ISO down. (Although the 5d wasn’t too bad at higher ISO.) – Alex Saberi
Canon EOS 5D, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM zoom lens
You can find Saberi’s photography at AlexSaberi.com and this image is available for sale as a print and at this link. This is the cover image of his book of photography, “Richmond Park”, which you can order through Amazon at this link. Stay updated on Saberi’s work by following him on Facebook.