Richmond Park at dawn

Every couple years I join my friends from the London Flickr Meetups group for a Richmond Park sunrise shoot. It’s a speculative journey - as often as not the weather doesn’t turn out and you have grey, flat light all morning; or you don’t spot any deer; or they’re too skittish to get close to.

A photo of autumnal woodland. There's a small trench in the floor receding in the distance.

This trip started like several others before it - with uninspiring, dull light. You start to wonder whether a 4:30am start was worth it, as the first coffee begins to wear off. It pushes you to try to find new angles and interesting compositions. No deer to be found either.

A soft focus image of some branches with dry grass in the background.
Three female deer poke their heads above ferns in morning sunlight.

As the clouds started to break we got a glimpse of sun and of some deer. They ran off down the hill, giving us an indication where we might find more.

A large tree stump is lit up from the side in dawn sunlight.
Two deer stand next to each other, each with a raven on their back. They're lit up warmly by dawn sunlight.
A large stag faces the camera, lit from the right with dawn sunlight

I suppose the stags are probably what many come to the parks for - and today I was lucky to find two in good spirits and willing to be photographed.

Two stags are silhouette in front of dawn sunlight, partially hidden by ferns.

Something I notice getting home, is that whilst the stag photos are all very impressive, they’re also very same-samey. Similar compositions, similar looks. Once you’ve got the front-on shot of them, any more seem redundant. Here I’ve tried to pick out some of the alternates with more interesting angles.

A stag faces to the left of the camera, partially hidden by ferns.
A close photo of a large stag's head. The stag is looking directly at the camera.