There are deer in the graveyard. I was surprised when I first saw them, but it makes sense. The graveyard is huge. It’s like a nature reserve with dead people, and who would hunt in a graveyard? Not even the most dedicated, camo-wearing, orange-vested gun nut would go there. The deer (and numerous bloody enormous groundhogs) are perfectly safe.

I’ve been trying to get deer pictures in the graveyard for a few weeks, since I first saw them–mostly as a flash of white as they whipped up their tails and bounded off. I have stalked them around graves and through bushes, and it’s a good thing I’m not a hunter because I am terrible at it. Recently, I’ve been getting closer. Either they’re relaxing, or I’m getting lucky. One of my best friends recently gave me an old Pentax K-1000 with a 70-200mm lens, and that’s helped as well. Close-ups of deer with a 50mm weren’t going to happen.

One morning, not looking for deer because all I had with me was my pinhole (and if 50mm was bad for deer, 16mm was impossible) I sat down on the steps of a mausoleum to wind my film forward. My mom was with me, and when I looked up, I saw her gesturing frantically and silently.

Deer! Not ten feet away. I aimed my pinhole. One thing to be said for wide angle is that it doesn’t take much aiming. I took a picture. The deer ambled off to pose neatly in a break between the branches. I took another picture; my last frame.

Deer pictures! On my pinhole! I was so excited. I processed the negatives. I could not see deer, but, well, negatives are small. When I scan them, I thought, the deer will become obvious. Yesterday I scanned them.

Guys, there is no deer in those photos. No deer. Anywhere. I know right where the deer should be. It’s not there.

my mother with mausoleum

no deer

See to the right of the mausoleum where those bushes are? That’s where the deer was.

mausoleum black and white with light leak and fallen tree

even less deer

And here, it was framed nicely in the small open space where the tree is bending over the middle mausoleum.

I’ve looked and looked. I scanned the negatives in at 7200dpi and a target size of 36 inches. I searched. Nothing. Draw your own conclusions.

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