As a passionate wildlife photographer in the beautiful state of Arkansas, I recently had the incredible opportunity to photograph two magnificent Whitetail Bucks right on my property near the Ouachita National Forest. These two bucks, a three-point buck and a spike, graced me with their presence, and I was determined to capture their beauty through my lens.
To ensure I could observe these majestic creatures without causing any disturbance, I carefully set up a ground blind in a strategic location. This allowed me to blend seamlessly into the surroundings while providing a comfortable vantage point for my photography. With my trusty Fujifilm X-T3 camera and Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM lens, attached with a Fringer EF-FX Pro adapter, mounted on a sturdy tripod, I was ready to capture these Whitetail Bucks in all their glory.
The location where I took these captivating photographs is Oden, a place renowned for its abundant wildlife and stunning natural landscapes. Oden, nestled in the heart of Arkansas, provided the perfect backdrop for my wildlife photography adventure.
On November 24 and 26, 2020, at around 9:07 and 9:41 A.M., respectively, I patiently awaited the ideal moments to photograph these Bucks. I opted for aperture priority mode, allowing me to control the depth of field while the camera automatically adjusted the shutter speed. I chose aperture values of f5.6 and f7.1 to create a shallow depth of field, beautifully isolating the Bucks from their surroundings and adding a pleasing bokeh effect to the images.
To freeze the Bucks’ motion and capture them in exquisite detail, I relied on the camera’s automatic settings to determine the shutter speed. The values settled at 1/150 and 1/420 of a second, ensuring that every aspect of their graceful movements was impeccably captured. I set the ISO to 2500, striking the right balance between sensitivity and noise reduction in the low-light conditions.
With a focal length of 400 mm, I was able to bring the Bucks closer to the viewer, emphasizing their intricate features such as their antlers, fur, and expressions. It was important to maintain a safe distance and respect their natural behavior, and this longer focal length allowed me to do just that while still capturing the essence of their magnificence.
Beyond the thrill of photographing the Whitetail Bucks, I was also fortunate enough to capture a special moment with a Tom Turkey on Thanksgiving Day and a delightful young deer indulging in some bird-watching. These encounters were a testament to the diverse wildlife that flourishes in the area and served as a reminder of the precious experiences that await us wildlife photographers.
In conclusion, I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to photograph the Whitetail Bucks in the enchanting landscapes of Arkansas. Through my lens, I was able to capture their beauty and grace, providing a glimpse into the delicate balance of nature. It is our responsibility to protect their habitat and ensure the preservation of these magnificent creatures for generations to come. By appreciating and documenting their presence, we can contribute to their conservation and raise awareness of the importance of wildlife in our ecosystem.