Relying on luck or being prepared?

White-tailed Deer
Nikon D200, Sigma 50-500 / f4-6.6 APO DG

We had snow on the ground since early December 2009 here in eastern Iowa. The White-tailed deer are hungry and come quite often out of the forest and search for food. Most nights there is not enough light available to get a decent shot of these beautiful animals. I have tried it many times but never retained any real keeper.

A few days ago I was surprised when a group of five deer showed up earlier, shortly after the noon hour. The sun was obscured by only a few clouds, which made for good light. I carefully moved into position, lifted the cover of my hiding-place, which was in this case….. just my bedroom window ;-)…, and started shooting.

With the comfort of warm feet and not having to dress for the outdoors I was able to take the pictures I was waiting for. Was it only luck? I don't think so. The camera and the Sigma 50-500 were mounted on the tripod and ready for action. The battery was charged and an empty flash card was inserted. In other words, I was prepared for this moment. Watching the deer many times before, I knew the day would come when the light would be sufficient for the long lens. I also knew that there would not be much time to prepare when the moment was right. Preparation, and yes, a little bit of luck, too.