This was a situation where a fast frame rate was extremely helpful for wildlife photography. While I had intended to use a Canon EOS 5Ds R
as my primary camera for this trip, the 5 fps frame rate quickly proved too slow for the fast-moving fawns. Switching to the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II
immediately solved the frame rate problem and significantly increased the ideal body position captures. However, I remained challenged to keep the adorable little animals in the viewfinder.
Another challenge presented by the fast-moving fawns was anticipating where they were going to be before they got there. The fawns would sometimes run right up to me in curious fashion, and then turn around and run far away in next moment. I used the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens
almost exclusively on this several-day trip. Having the zoom lens meant that I could (mostly) frame the fawns as desired and often I included the mother and/or siblings in the same frame. I had the built-in extender switched into the optical path for this capture.
Another reason that a zoom lens is a great option for this location is that Big Meadows has many line of sight obstructions. This makes it difficult to get a clear view of the subject and getting closer is sometimes what is needed to avoid such.
I wasn't totally happy with this image due to the fact the fawn was leaping just slightly away from me – I usually prefer an approaching position. But, my daughter walked by as I was selecting one of the fawn pictures to share and was immediately drawn to this one. While the late-day sunlight was ideally-warm, what she loved was that namesake tail raised and an approaching angle would not do that part justice. Sometimes it takes another set of eyes to see things in a different way.
A larger version of this image is available on BryanCarnathan.com
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