This is another photograph of a Red Kite taken at the Bellymack Farm Kite Feeding Station on the Galloway Kite Trail on a very wet, dull and windy day in October.
The Red Kite (Milvus milvus) is a medium-large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as eagles, buzzards, and harriers. You can read more about Red Kites on the RSPB website here.
These birds are incredibly fast and agile and they use their large fan-shaped forked tails to provide steering. That makes them remarkably difficult to photograph, particularly as they were at this time frenzied and swooping around as some fresh meat had just been laid out at the feeding station nearby.
Critiques | Translate
delpeoples (54425) 2013-12-06 17:30
Gidday caro Giovanni Attenborough
I was going to leave my critique with one word "applauso", which is what I feel like doing when I see this brilliant photo. But whilst that's sums up the beauty's of the photo, it's not fair to leave it at that. I see this image as a turning point in your photography, not just in terms of the in-camera work, but the obvious quality in the post-processing. Whatever those stuffed shirts are learnin ya at camera club, keep it up. The chromatic rendering and definition are stunning. I can see you've mastered the use of Layers and Masks, something I'm still not comfortable with myself. There is a quality to this photo that's I see particularly in the photography of Andre (inasiajones): it looks so "finished" - if you know what I mean by that. Anyway, congrats it's really superb.
Subhogen (4067) 2013-12-06 19:46
Now that is one special shot.
You have frozen this super fast bird in mid air for us to have a close look. Very well managed back-light to bring out the translucent wings.
Excellent detailing on plumage and eye of the kite even at such high speeds speaks a lot about your ability and the excellent equipment you are using. This is just superb..no words of appreciation is enough for you.
Stunning shot!!! and thanks for sharing.
Have a nice weekend.
P.S Did you have to zoom in a lot or was this fellow flying low?
SnapRJW (31625) 2013-12-06 21:15
Hello John - A remarkable image, not a subject that we see presented with such artistry very often. I am not a bird photograph fan but this has gone beyond a mere record shot and has painterly qualities. The colours and detailing in the feathers is excellent. My only slightly negative comment is that the edges around the Kite are a little too hard and tend to make the bird look as if it has been cut out and pasted onto the background. I know nothing about layers in PP work but is there a way to make a more subtle transition on the margins?
Top class work with excellent control of that very long lens!
Warm regards Rosemary
jadesgran (5369) 2013-12-06 22:40
What an incredible picture of this beautiful bird. You have captured it`s beauty showing clarity in every feather.You must be very very proud of this one,- Your best ever picture I have seen of yours.
jjcordier (78360) 2013-12-06 22:40
Fantastique photo de ce superbe oiseau. La netteté est absolument remarquable, le cadrage parfait et la lumière excellente.
saxo042 (37602) 2013-12-06 22:54
This is a perfect picture! An incredible sharpness and a beautifully composed view with the wings spread out along the diagonal. Marvellous!
timecapturer (49288) 2013-12-07 2:35
an elegant and beautifully captured action shot this. Not easy to get images like this and all the more rewarding when one turns out like this. Superb!
Enjoy the weekend - B.
holmertz (43663) 2013-12-07 4:06
Considering that these birds are "remarkably difficult to photograph" you have done very well. In fact, this is a marvellous photo, and the magnificent bird seems to have cropped the picture by itself. You hardly had any other choice but a tight vertical shape. The colours and sharpness are fantastic. I have rarely felt so close to a large bird of prey.
I wish you a nice weekend.
Noel_Byrne (26549) 2013-12-07 8:53
Another woooooooooo!!! This is brilliant! You framed this so perfectly and kept the birds dinosaur like face so perfectly in focus, I once again tip my hat for your skill in capturing this incredible Nat Geo quality image. The light playing on the feathers is sublime. Everything on this image is perfect.
A beauty, thanks indeed for sharing
All the best
olive224 (2719) 2013-12-07 10:33
Is it your 100-400 ? I'm jealous !!
Great shot and awesome posture of the red kite
An excellent sharpness on the eye which is incredible in this kind of shots
Very well done and thanks for sharing ;)
ourania (35009) 2013-12-07 13:15
a remarkable picture, I'm sure a photo like this, apart from apt equipment, requires also great patience, readiness, steadiness, knowledge of the bird's character and habits and experience in the application of all of the above:) I like the use of this well cropped vertical frame. We can have a fascinating close look at the red kite in flight, you captured it with amazing sharpness. I also like how the light filters through its feathers. Great work, congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a lovely Sunday,
Royaldevon (32563) 2013-12-08 1:36
Why did you turn down the opportunity to work on Nature Watch !!! Just joking!
This is a cracker of a shot!
There is movement, wonderful diagonal composition, light through the feathers and an undeniable intensity in the bird's gaze!
A whole new area certainly worth developing!
Have a great day,
CLODO (31606) 2013-12-08 4:30
Congratulations for this stunning shot, so sharp and in the diagonal of the image, even if it is not taken in the open nature.
williewhistler (15231) 2013-12-08 11:57
with the wings perfectly positioned across the vertical corners and pin harp details throughout against a blurred BG this is such a lovely shot of the Red Kite,they don`t get much better than this,it`s a very fine Natural History shot.
Best regards Les.
Nicou (127734) 2013-12-09 1:35
Fantastique image quelle netteté sur ce rapace sueprbe les ailes grand ouvert, comme on voit bien le découpage des ailes, ce plumage, le bec l'oeil grandisoe.
Bravo et amitié
lousat (81017) 2013-12-09 14:25
Waaw,as a member of treknature too,i must to give you my best compliments for this spectacular capture!!!! This is a masterwork,what a timing,what a exposure and what a perfect camera settings to take these details despite the fast mouvement,2 points are not enough today! Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano
willperrett (7786) 2013-12-10 10:17
First I have to ask: is this the full frame? And then comes the praise: whether this is or isn't a crop, it's a truly fine capture of this bird of prey which as you say yourself, is skittish, manoeuvrable and difficult to photograph. But you've done so well: the light is perfect for such a shot: dull or not, it works. Wow. And I don't say that very often.
Glint (6171) 2013-12-10 13:16
Oh my goodness, this is a beaut! Painterly, a work of art. Love the drama of the compo and light. Don't really know what else to say as I have no idea how you achieved this.
annjackman (20533) 2013-12-11 3:15
Another first class wildlife shot from you with plenty of action. Stunningly sharp and well rendered. I love the way the light is shining through the feathers giving some beautiful detail. Framing excellent of this amazing bird - just wish I could view it with out scrolling!
Kind Regards, Ann
emka (84032) 2013-12-11 14:33
Hi John, how you managed to make such brilliant photo? I saw some shows of prey birds but it was impossible to make a decent photo. They are so fast and my camera was so slow. Stunning sharpness and fantastic color. It looks like a painting. Breathtaking shot, you can be very proud of it.
I am back home. I enjoyed my crazy trip very much. The days in December are short but there were Christmas markets every where in the evening so it was very pleasant. And i had great time in Middlesbrough :).
hidibyendu (871) 2013-12-11 14:46
this is absolutely stunning capture. Wonderful.
What can I say about this!! I dont know how you captured this with so much clarity, wonderful sharpness. Really awesome.
jhm (142786) 2013-12-12 3:28
I have the same lens, I use these lens alone in the nature, but I have never happiness to see the same bird.
A lovely picture taken with a very high quality.
Open wings and the focus on the beak and eyes.
Colours and sharpness be superb.
Excellent composition, nice presentation
Very well done, TFS.
COSTANTINO (58677) 2013-12-13 3:41
excellent strong scenery
the title could be as the freedom
I would like to be a red kite
to fly all over the world
great work indeed
excellent detailing on plumage
have a nice weekend
Silvio1953 (128283) 2013-12-14 7:36
Ciao John, great capture of fantastic im-flight bird, perfect focus, fine details, excellent sharpness, splendid light and wonderful colors, very well done, my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio
macjake (59954) 2013-12-16 3:52
well, you're becoming quite the nature/animal photographer lately!
wow, look at the lighting you got from under the wings...this has to be your best shot yet.
and I love how the Red Kite takes up the frame, there's really no dead spaces, he's so large and powerful yet graceful.
and somehow it becomes an emotional photo too, at least for me anyways. so it certainly hits a chord.
bravo my friend.
Didi (58416) 2013-12-18 7:24
Hi Lucky man
Awesome catch and very good decisive moment
Very good selective setting DOF
- Copyright: John Cannon (tyro) (21580)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2013-10-06
- Categories: Nature, Decisive Moment
- Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, Hoya 77mm Pro1D UV(0)
- Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1600 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2013-12-06 17:22