Sika deer of Hokkaido, Japan

I photographed these Sika deer while i was on my way from Rausu to Koshiro in Hokkaido, Japan. I had spent three days in Rausu, a costal town in northern Hokkaido photographing Steller’s sea eagles. As you can imagine, my memory cards were full and energy drained out. It was peak winters and temperatures plummeted to about minus 20 celsius on most days. However, when I saw the deer from a moving car making their way into an open expanse which I later learnt was a frozen lake, I instinctively knew that as a fine art wildlife photographer, i had to photograph them.

As a black and white photographer who is passionate about minimalistic art, I could already visualise the image i wanted to make. An all white background with just one sika deer somewhere in the frame.

The challenge was to get close enough for the image I had pre visualised. The deer were wild and I knew they would run if they knew I was around. So i took all the gear i thought i would need and walked knee deep in snow for about a hundred meters. With each step i was inching my way towards the herd. Fortunately I could get close enough to be able to make these images.

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