As deer farmers we work with fantastically good looking animals, often in very scenic surroundings. Most of us, if not all, have a digital camera and thus the possibility to document our work and our friends the deer. However, not many of us use the potential of our camera. It is a giant step between the beginner (as photografer) and the professional   


With a minimum of time you can improve your skills using your camera up to the level of enthusiast/semiprofessional.

If you then want to take your skills further up to a professional - well that will take years!


On this side we will try to give some simple tips on how to take good photos of deer and other animals. As webmaster for a number of websites about deer farming I get a lot of photos from members who want them published. Many takes really good photos, but some does not take so good ones. Modern cameras - even cheap ones - can all take good quality photos provided you can handle it. Therefore I have written down some pieces of advise below.


 LEARN how to handle your cameras setting possibilities = READ THE MANUAL!


I am looking forward to getting your new photos for publication on this website!


2011-05-11 // Rolf Eriksson


Always try to focus on the animals eye! The closer you are to the animal the more important this is.


Exposure program:

Choose Time Value (TV) exposure program if this i availiable on your camera.
This means that you select the shutter speed and your camera will automatically find the proper aperture.
A short shutterspeed prevents unsharp pictures due to the objects movements and usually gives a large aperture wich result in a shallow dept of field (DOF) - please se more below!


Shutter speed:

1/500 sec. or less will almost everytime give you a sharp photo without motion unsharpness.



Aperture/Iris and Dept of field (DOF):

The distance FROM and TO in between wich the objects look sharp. With higher focal lenght on your lens (= telelens) - the more shallow DOF you get.
A shallow DOF gives a nice blur to the background and the animal looks much nicer. The animal "stand out" from the background.

The larger aperture (low numbers - e.g. 2.8) the more shallow DOF you get.

The smaller aperture (high values e.g. 16) the larger DOF you get.




ISO value tells you how "fast" your camera is (how much light is needed). Compare with the old DIN or ASA.settings from the times we used film.

If you have a compact camera - use as low ISO as possible due to light conditions. 

If you have a modern system camera with exchageable lenses you don't have to worry about ISO at least up to values 1000 - 1250
Modern system cameras produce very little electronical noise.




If you have a camera with the possibility to choose between fileformats (RAW or/and JPG) use RAW settings.

RAW means that the camera doesn't makle any alterations to the "negative".
JPG is a format where already the camera compress the picture file. This is done in a destructive way meening that parts of the information from the sensor is gone. There is no way of turning back from jpg to RAW.


RAW pros:

You can almost always get a god picture from even a very badly exposed photo (at least if it is underexposed).
A bad white balance (odd colours) is now problem to reset to normal colours.

RAW cons:

Size of the picture file is larger and take up more space on your disk

You need a special software to make your photo visible. Such programs follows all cameras that can use RAW file format.


2011-05-11 // Rolf Eriksson

Photo above:

Focus on the eye

Background with nice blur. Could even been a big more "blurry"!


CLICK on the photo to enlarge it!


© Rolf Eriksson 2008