I will be the first to admit that the photograph of this grazing reindeer looks a lot like something straight out of a fairy tale book or some wildlife photography shot. And, I will not deny that this was the look I was going for.
As stated, the scene looks like something out of a story book. With its gentle sloping hills, its green pastures, the ground littered with the golden and yellow leaves of Fall, and a soft sunny backlit area, the scene looks almost staged – but it wasn’t. This is yet another photograph from my visit to the zoo last week. I started early and had decided to make my way around the Rozamond Gifford Zoo but from a different direction. I choose to start of from the pond entrance rather than the bird exhibit where the kookaburas reside. As I made my way around the winding path, I came across the open pen of the reindeers. It was still early in the morning and the sunlight was more directional than it was overhead creating long streaks of yellow light in the areas where it penetrated through the leaves and branches. The gentle slope of the land helped to accentuate the fallen leaves which littered the grounds of the pen. The reindeer, with its solid brown, white and black colors, anchored the photograph illustrating that it was the subject. Had it not been for the reindeer in the shot, the scene would have been plain and would lack interest. But with the reindeer in the shot, and the including of all the other elements working together, it creates a photograph which is memorable.
Although the photograph looks staged, it wasn’t. In spite of this, however, the combination of elements which make the photograph work – lighting, gentle sloping hills, reindeer, leaf littered landscape, green pastures – give the impression of a scene straight out of a story book; A story book of a grazing reindeer in a meadow.