If there’s one thing everyone – photographer or not – should know about wild animals, it’s “keep your distance”. This rule goes double when the animal is eating, and triple when their young are nearby. These are the most vulnerable times for an animal, and they will fiercely defend themselves and their food/babies from any swaggering intruder. Case in point: in this clip, taken in the Scottish highlands by videographer Johno Verity, sports photographer Dan Milner tries to photograph a stag deer from about three feet away, and gets a lensful of antler for his audacity:
I suppose the temptation of getting a wide-angle closeup of such a wild beast was too much to resist, but this is exactly the reason that telephoto lenses were invented (well, at least ONE of the reasons). He probably could have stayed inside the car and got his shot, but in our smug sense of human dominance, we can often forget just how dangerous animals really are; they can seriously and even fatally injure a person without hesitation.
Always stay a safe distance from wild animals, and never taunt them the way Milner does at the beginning of the video. They may not understand your words, but they can probably tell you’re trying to mess with them, and they won’t appreciate it. Luckily for Milner, the stag only wanted to warn him – it bucked him and then retreated, and he made it out of there with nothing but a bloody cut on his nose.
In case you’re trying to decipher his equipment, you’re not crazy – that is a Nikon lens mounted on a Canon body. To be precise, it’s a Canon 1D (can’t make out which version) with a Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens (aka, the opposite of a wildlife lens). According to Milner’s blog, though, the lens actually survived the incident, which is a pretty good endorsement for Nikon’s build quality.
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