The backlight present in this photograph serves to highlight the short soft hair that gives this material its name. In the background gnats are visible flying about the bucks head. The close-up inset gives a better view of the buck’s left beam end complete with a pesky fly. Most of the features mentioned would not be visible with direct frontal lighting.
Photography is all about light. A totally ordinary scene can be transformed into a thing of beauty simply by changing the angle of lighting. In wildlife photography seldom can the light angle be changed once the wildlife appears, so the expected lighting conditions and wildlife movement must be taken into account when choosing a particular shooting location.