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  #1  
Old 22nd April 2013
rutwij rutwij is offline
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The red kites at Argaty

This past Saturday I went to Argaty near Stirling, where they have a place where they feed red kites and a hide for observers and photographers.
Light conditions weren't the best, with mainly overcast skies. I struggled to switch exposures between the darker trees/grass and the much brighter (by 2-4 f-stops) cloudy skies as the birds swooped down and flew back up.
In addition, I hadn't turned my IS off, so I guess that contributed to some of the lack of image clarity.
I ended up with a lot of images which were over exposed or under exposed, many were out of focus as the lens (E5/ZD 90-250) wasn't able to lock or maintain focus on the fast moving birds.
All the images here have been cropped to varying degrees and most had to be adjusted for exposure, contrast etc.
I have to say, it's a world of difference snapping puffins and red kites
Anyway... here are some of the images I found acceptable.















































Will make more attempts in the future, but the organisers said that the kites go away to nest during summer and come back in force in winter, so might have to wait a while. We were lucky to see as many as there were, probably because of the recent cold weather.

Rutwij
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Old 22nd April 2013
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Re: The red kites at Argaty

Looks a great experience Rutwij. I like the formation flying shots

Greg
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Old 22nd April 2013
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Re: The red kites at Argaty

Great shots No. 3 for me
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Old 22nd April 2013
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Re: The red kites at Argaty

No3 for me too, closely followed by No7, must have been a cracking experience.
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Old 22nd April 2013
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Re: The red kites at Argaty

This I like especially.
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Old 23rd April 2013
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Re: The red kites at Argaty

No. 3 for me ! You do have some TRULY GREAT SHOTS there

They seem to be quite "yellow/Golden" in their plumage - maybe a northern varient ? We have some RK at Henley that are REALLY RED and others with lots of pale red & white feathers under
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Old 23rd April 2013
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Re: The red kites at Argaty

What s/w did you proces sin ?
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Old 23rd April 2013
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Re: The red kites at Argaty

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Originally Posted by Chevvyf1 View Post
What s/w did you proces sin ?
I use PSE9. I found that a lot of noise gets generated when I try and compensate for under or over exposure, even by a third of a stop. Cropping seems to generate even more noise I had to use sharpening/noise reduction filters for most of my smaller crops. The image quality and sharpness was just shot to pieces in the process

I think the tan plumage of the birds might just be my white balance/saturation settings. The RAW file is usually not meant to retain data on WB, but Olympus raw files seem to reflect the WB settings used for the shot.

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Old 23rd April 2013
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Re: The red kites at Argaty

Thanks for your comments, Greg, Weeman, Imageryone, Mark and Chevvy!

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Old 23rd April 2013
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Re: The red kites at Argaty

Some great shots there. Even if you struggled I think one can well see the quality of the ZD90-250 over - say, my Bigma.
For my feeling most of your images look overexposed, but assume you lifted them in PP, right?
I don't like to see a messed up bird like #A5. Badges in both wings, transmitter and even a ring to it Why not hang an anvil around it's neck as well?!

My favorites are #7 and #20.

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Old 23rd April 2013
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Re: The red kites at Argaty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Falk View Post
Some great shots there. Even if you struggled I think one can well see the quality of the ZD90-250 over - say, my Bigma.
For my feeling most of your images look overexposed, but assume you lifted them in PP, right?
I don't like to see a messed up bird like #A5. Badges in both wings, transmitter and even a ring to it Why not hang an anvil around it's neck as well?!

My favorites are #7 and #20.

Falk
A number of my images were overexposed, especially ones with the birds against the overcast sky. I had to reduce the contrast, lift the shadows and reduce the resultant noise. Overall I did fill the shadows to get the colours and patterns out. Was there a better way of doing it?

The tagged birds did look a odd as compared to others. Apparently they are stopping tagging the birds soon because there are enough numbers of them now.

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Old 23rd April 2013
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Re: The red kites at Argaty

Quote:
Originally Posted by rutwij View Post
I had to reduce the contrast, lift the shadows and reduce the resultant noise. Overall I did fill the shadows to get the colours and patterns out. Was there a better way of doing it?
That sounds fine to me and is more then I could have done. Especially dealing with noise I am not set for. What I meant to say with my statement was, the birds look more bright on my screen then at least I am used to see them in nature. If all the birds had been a little darker I would not have missed a thing.


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Old 23rd April 2013
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Re: The red kites at Argaty

Fantastic series, you must be very pleased with them.
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