A few days ago, on a crisp morning at Connetquot State Park, I finally found the Deer I was looking for. It was a big beautiful buck, probably a year away from being fully grown. The light was low so I worked in ISO 800. All shots were taken with a 400mm lens at f5.6. Shutter speed was 1/80th which was just enough to freeze the deer, and yield sharp images. When photographing wildlife, I always recommend using a fast shutter speed of at least 1/250th. Yet, sometimes it's just not possible due to the ambient light conditions. Of course I could have gone to ISO 3200, but in my opinion it's just way too noisy even if you use a noise reduction plug-in. Generally I use"Neat Image" for noise reduction which works quite nicely with CS4.
When you see a big deer like this, it stops you in your tracks, especially when it is looking right at you. That is one powerful animal, and I would not want to be gored by an antler. I keep my distance, and pay very close attention to its behavior. The trick is to try not to make eye contact, or else they feel threatened. Also, I try to never corner a deer, or walk in a straight line towards it. My approach is to walk very slowly, and quietly, on an angle. If the deer sees me, I'll put my head down and wait a minute or two. I continue this routine until I am in position. They can hear the sound of the shutter, and sometimes this will scare them away. With wildlife photography, patience is key. If the deer runs away, it's best to just hang around and watch them from distance. Eventually they may settle down, and you can get closer without disrupting them.