This was the second or third time I had been to the Deer Park at Dunham with my camera and actually found the deer. This beautiful creature was sat near a wall and was quite comfortable with me getting close. I hadn’t ever seen a deer sat down like this before. Just as I captured this photograph the deer got up and walked away from me, turning around I noticed another two photographers had joined me and we were obviously too close.
Dunham Massey Hall was built in 1616 by Sir Gerge Booth. Today the hall, gardens and surrounding park land are managed by the National Trust. It is a popular Cheshire tourist attraction with over 100,000 visitors each year. I have visited this park dozens of times having grown up in the area, but this view of the hall never seems to grow old for me. I have photographed it in all four seasons and even have a photo of it covered in snow.
I have been trying and will continue to try to photograph autumn, but I find it one of the most difficult seasons of the year to capture. Reds and oranges are colours that digital cameras struggle the most with. Even with relatively flat late afternoon lighting the orange of the autumn leaves here at Dunham Park really shows what I see in my mind when I think about autumn.
Living only a couple of miles away from Dunham Massey Park near Altrincham most of my life, I have been there more times than I can remember, with family, with friends and even on my own with just the camera. In my experience it is only about 50% of the time I see the deer. The day I took the above photograph I was lucky to see them a couple of times. Although this deer clearly had his eyes on me as I got closer and closer with my camera it was worth it for this photograph.
Dunham Massey Park has a number of small pools and ponds. Many people stand around them feeding the ducks in summer, particularly around the Hall. This pool is just a couple of minutes walk from the hall and is called island pond. Taken in autumn there isn’t a lot of wildlife on the water at this time of the year. I should probably try to retake the photo in summer to compare the difference.