The Enchanted Forest

Dave Sandford


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The Enchanted Forest

London, Ontario.

The more time you spend in the field, the more you will find yourself in the right place at the right time.  This is one of those cases, combined with a little planning and a lot of good fortune. The day prior to this particular image, I had noticed how the suns rays broke through the trees, almost with spotlight precision on the trees and shoreline. These very short-lived, but brilliant rays of sunshine got my wheels turning. So, the next morning I set off with a plan and some hope.  It was a hot humid summer morning, the sun's rays hadn't yet reached over the horizon. I arrived at my vantage point and all I had to do was hope that a deer was going to show up on the far off shoreline. (not too much to ask) I have often seen deer frequent this far shoreline in the early mornings, however I needed the stars to align. This was one of those situations. The suns rays broke through the light layer of fog and trees, spotlighting tiny sections of the trees and shoreline on the far bank of the river. Now in this short 5 min window all I needed was for a deer to show up.. and stand in the pathway of one of these beams of light, again not too much to ask right!? As mentioned the stars aligned for me on this morning. The edges of my mouth slowly started to curl up as I watched a doe emerge from behind the tree line on the left. Now I just needed for her to move a little to the right and pause. Maybe it's good karma, maybe it's sending out my wishes or positive vibes into the forest air or perhaps it's just dumb luck. She took a few steps and paused, however all I was looking at was her backside, I fired off a quick test frame, made a slight adjustment to my exposure and as good fortune would have it, as I put my eye to the back of the camera, she turned toward the direction of the rising sun with a glorious blazing orange beam of light hitting her side throwing up a nice glow on to her face. She stood there maybe a mere 5 seconds before she turned and started off deep into the woods.

As a wildlife photographer we often see scenes in the field where at a certain time of day the light and conditions are just perfect, however no animals in sight. What I have learned over the years is how to craft a shot. This is one of those examples, all be it a bad example. I only say this because it often means, hours, days, weeks maybe years of planning and crafting, combined with a little good fortune (making your own luck) This was something I had envisioned one day and literally just 24 hours later, every element I needed to come in to play to match my vision unfolded if only for a few seconds. Being there, being prepared I was able to capitalize on the moment, the moment you now see here. For those who may not be able to experience these moments themselves, I bring The Enchanted Forest to you. 

©Dave Sandford.

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