Subtle things can make a difference in taking photos of a trophy buck.
John Farmer took this photo of his son, Grant, then 11, in November, 2007 with his first buck.
It is the best example of an artfully arranged photo I can remember receiving. It took quite some time to arrange in Downstate Pope County, but worth it.
It was guys with their deer photos that set off Rich Josepher, one of the Chicago-area's many avid bowhunters. He wanted guys to take better photos of their trophies for a lifetime.
He thought considering the amount of time and money that goes into taking that trophy, there should be some reasonable effort into taking a good photo to last a lifetime too.
That formed the basis for my outdoors column in the Sun-Times on Sunday.
(Just an aside, as a newspaper guy, I truly value the more immediate disarray of state-of-the-moment photos and the historical placement they can give.)
However, Josepher is right, it is better to take the time to arrange an artful photo.
Here's the gist of the hints from Josepher, and two more by me.
''Check out the photo section on midwestwhitetail.com,'' Josepher wrote. ''There are some pretty good examples of some decent pics on that Web site. Hunters don't need to be pro photographers or have expensive camera equipment to take good-looking photos.''
Here are the basic rules that Josepher and his deer hunting friends follow:
1. Clean up the animal -- wipe off bloody areas, put tongue in mouth, etc.
2. Take pics when lighting is best (early or late in the day).
3. Find an area with a scenic background (woods, cornfield, old barn).
4. Don't take photos into the sun (try to keep sun behind the cameraman).
5. No back of the truck, capped out, or gutted pics.
6. Take close-up shots (fill up the frame).
I would add two other basics. Don't have tobacco in your mouth or hand and put any beverage cans or bottles out of camera range.
I would add that little changes can make big differences in photos.
While digging up Farmer's photo and original e-mail, I found he had sent a second photo.
It is also a good photo, but not nearly as powerful an image as the top one. And that is simply the idfference of a turn of the head of hunter and trophy.