One Foggy Morning In Ottawa

Jim Cumming
February 11, 2011



Deer coming out of a thick fog by Jim Cumming ©

I watched him as he walked out of a thick fog

2008 was the year I purchased my first dSLR camera and my interest in digital photography was born. After spending a great deal of time researching the camera market I ended up purchasing the Canon 40D.

Magnificent animal  deer by Jim Cumming ©

Magnificent animal

After acquiring my camera I was unsure of the media I would be pursuing, I dabbled in landscapes, architecture, macro, people and even treaded in the realm of the 'wedding photographer', but the thought of messing up someone’s big day was very stressful although I was told by the bride and groom that I had done a great job.

One of three bucks I encountered  by Jim Cumming

One of three bucks I encountered that morning

But more and more I found myself meandering aimlessly through the trails of the many local forests and watersheds that we are blessed with here in Ottawa and experienced a real rush when a subject would come into camera focus whether it was a hawk hunting its prey or a deer foraging for food.

He turned but did not seem to mind my presence

The morning of November 6, 2008 is one I'll soon not forget. A heavy fog loomed across my neck of the woods and I figured it would be a great backdrop for some good nature photography so I grabbed my gear and warm clothes and headed out to the local woods which happen to be the NCC Greenbelt that surrounds Ottawa and only about 1 mile from home.

Deer and buck in the fog by Jim Cumming ©

This doe walked towards me and hid behind my back.

Heading down a path I could barely see 10 yards in front of me, then suddenly through the fog I saw them, 3 large white-tailed bucks, one to my right, one to my left and the largest an 8 pointer standing directly in front of me...unreal.

The rut is on.

Now the does in this area are fairly docile mainly because people come and feed them, but the bucks are very apprehensive and take-off in a heartbeat when you begin to approach so I was in awe standing in their presence.

Buck overlooks his kingdom by Jim Cumming ©

This 8 pointer looks over his kingdom

In these seeing conditions, and in the middle of rut season, I have to admit I was a little nervous to be in such close proximity to these massive wild beasts. On the other hand my adrenaline was pumping and I was anxious to start shooting. A wide angle lens would have been ideal but unfortunately I left it on the dining room table. Then pretty much out of nowhere a doe approached me and walked right past which put me directly in the middle of the 3 bucks and this doe. I slowly turned and touched her on the nose to shoo her away but she wouldn't move...... so I did, and retreated back about 20 yards. With camera in hand and my 70-200 mm F4 lens attached I started snapping as many shots as my memory card could hold.

This 8 pointer spots a doe

When I reviewed all the pictures which were in excess of about 200 these ones stood out as the best of the morning, it was very surreal and I knew I had some gems. I then did some post-processing using curves, levels and adjusting the contrast with Photoshop until I was happy with the final results you see here.

Buck with long neck by Jim Cumming ©

What a long neck

Capturing moments like this is what makes photography a very rewarding hobby, and hunting that next elusive shot is what will keep me trying for many years to come.

His Majesty - large buck by Jim Cumming ©

His Majesty

Photographer photographing a Deer by Daniel Parent ©

Photo of Jim Cumming and cooperative buck by Daniel Parent

Jim Cumming Photo by Ted Busby
Photo of Jim Cumming by
Ted Busby


Bio: I’m an amateur photographer living in Kanata, Ontario and use the Canon 40D and Canon ‘L’ series lenses. I’ve been fortunate enough to have one of my photos displayed at the Museum of Nature here in Ottawa, and will have 2 more displayed there this summer.

Jim Cumming

To purchase any of my prints please visit my website:


Links to Additional resources


[ Top ]