Red Kite’s are back

I have been wanting to take some shots of the fabulous Red Kite’s for some time now, however it would have mean’t a trip to Wales where there is a large breeding group. I had seen a number of Kite’s soaring around the M40 corridor near  High Wycombe.

On a  BBC program I had been watching recently I heard about a cafe just off of the M40 that regularly feeds Red Kites and was a photographic spectacle. So yesterday it was a nice day and I had managed to track down the location of this cafe. Apparently the Kite’s are fed at midday on Saturdays so I got there just after 11am. I grabbed a cup of tea and sat and watched a couple of Kite’s circling. Having finished my tea I noticed there now was about 6 Kite’s soaring around the cafe’s car park area. Seeing this I went out into the car par with my gear, I was using my Canon 1D Mk 1V with a Canon 300mm F2.8L prime as well as a Canon 70-200mm F2.8L Zoom lens. I took a number of shots using the 300mm but they were really too high.

Just before Midday there were now about 8 Kite’s circling and you could see that they were paying a lot of attention to the car park. At just after Midday the lady from the cafe came out and threw down the food. From nowhere suddenly there were over 20 Kite’s circling and getting lower (apparently it’s not uncommon to get 40+). I was now shooting furiously and using the 300mm still. Without any warning they all suddenly starting dropping out of the sky and swooping down and grabbing the food. I suddenly realized that I need a shorter lens so switched to the zoom. I have to say that it was extremely tricky and I didn’t get many “keepers” but still got some as you can see.  Will certainly be going back thats for sure

HDR Photography

Walking through the city this week with my new G12 in my pocket I noticed the difference of old & new architecture. So I took a few frames. That night I had been watching a tutorial on HDR by a chap called Guy Gowan. I am a member of Guys site ( and have to say I am a big fan of his. Anyway to get back to the point I thought I would try out his method of HDR. Its really trying to get the image as you actually saw it and not like some of the garish images that you get from a lot of dedicated HDR software. Basically it’s all done in Photoshop and from only one exposure using layers. I feel that it does really represent the scene that I saw.  Interested to know what you all think?