An easy way to get a unique photo is to find a unique subject. I have seen a lot of different antler abnormalities, but this buck sported a new one.
Antlers are very strong, but deer frequently break their tines and even main beams, especially when fighting. However, the broken tine or beam nearly always breaks cleanly, detaching immediately, never to be seen again. Or, often due to injury, antlers grow in abnormal directions. This buck's right antler was broken off under the skin, dangling from the skin keeping it attached.
When photographing animals, I like to see separation between the legs and especially like to see one of the front legs stepping forward, showing action. I'll rarely complain about wildlife photography lighting when there is a setting sun behind me with the catchlight in the eye adding life to the animal.
What will this buck's next rack look like? I hope to find out this fall. Want to join me to photograph these great animals in Shenandoah National Park?
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.