Deer at Charlecote Park

As a proud National Trust member, I’m lucky that Charlecote Park in Warwickshire is only 25 minutes away from where I live. It’s become one my favourite places to go for a relaxing walk throughout all the seasons as it’s always teeming with beauty and wildlife.

On this most recent visit, I set off hoping to see some young fawns as I’d heard that the does had recently started giving birth. I knew it was a long shot as they’re timid at the best of times and ultra cautious with their newborn calves.

The stags, however, are totally the opposite. I’ve found that if you approach them slowly and calmly and take your time to just stand and observe, they’ll often let you get really close. On this occasion I gradually found myself surrounded by a particularly confident group of young bucks who didn’t mind my mellow photography taking style.

These young males all had velvet antlers growing having shed last year’s hard calcified efforts.

At the end of my walk just as I was winding down from the photography, heading to the exit and checking the activity on my phone, at peace with the fact that I wasn’t going to see any fawns up close, I looked up from what I was doing to see a loan calf and her mother, unaware of my presence only about 30 feet away. My camera had already been switched off and the lens cap reapplied, ready to be put away for the drive home at this point, so the quiet scramble in quickly getting the shot set up wasn’t ideal, but I’m pleased that I manage to fire a couple off in focus in the few seconds I had available. During this time the mother deer did a runner, leaving her baby looking kind of lost and confused before she eventually ducked down into the long grass to hide. I didn’t want to cause them any more distress at this point, so I carried on towards the exit, but I’m really glad I had that encounter.

All deer photos were taken on the Fuji X-H1 with the Fujifilm XF50-140mm f/2.8 Lens, processed from RAW with Capture One.

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Spring Lamb Photography

Before I get started, I'll just get this out of the way: OH MY GOODNESS, THEY'RE SO CUTE!


Over the Easter weekend we were incredibly fortunate to have good weather across pretty much the whole of the UK, so it was a pleasure to get out for some long walks in the Warwickshire countryside and to take some photos.

Lambing season appears to be in full effect so I knew it was a good opportunity to capture some nice shots. With that in mind I brought my longest lens (214mm in 35mm terms) with 1.4 x tele-converter. For those not up on their focal lengths, this isn't particularly long in the scheme of things, at least not compared to dedicated wildlife lenses.

As such, I knew I'd have to get fairly close to my subjects to get the kind of shots I wanted. Now, I like to think of myself as a bit of a Doctor Dolittle type character, at one with the animals, an animal whisperer if you will, but, sheep are cautious at the best of times, even more-so when they have their young, vulnerable offspring with them.

In fact, it was quite interesting to observe the interactions amongst the herd, with the lambs being a lot more curious and bold than the older sheep, sometimes looking like they might approach you to investigate, before the more cautious mother sheep would bleat out a warning call for their lamb to back away.

My approach therefore was really slow and measured. I spent a good amount of time just standing in one place, letting the flock approach me if they wanted, rather than rushing in and scaring them off. I kept my body language non-threatening by keeping my head down, not staring and feigning indifference to their movements. Over the course of the evening, I was able to gradually move closer and closer. I genuinely believe this softly, softly approach allowed the sheep to feel comfortable in my presence and to perceive no threat from me.

It was a real joy to watch the young lambs play in the setting sun, as well as observing their mothers keeping a watchful eye on them at all times, not to mention the vocal communication. Towards the end of my walk I came across a group of lambs all from different families playing together. They seemed fascinated with a particular dip in the ground and so formed all of their games around this hole, jumping in and out of it, chasing each other round it and generally just having a brilliant time!

Please visit my website, for more content including landscape and nature photography from the UK.

Also, if you are from Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire or the West Midlands and are interested in hiring me as your wedding photographer, please say hi!