Critique Red Kite feeding station, Llanddeusant

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#1
We visited the Red Kite feeding station at Llanddeusant today; what an experience! It was a bit like being in a warzone, never able to relax and no idea where to look. All in good fun and great practice for birds in flight. Also, really cool to see Red Kites at such close range and enjoy their amazing acrobatics.

I'm quite pleased with the photos (mostly the first two) but it did feel a bit of a cheat photography wise. It was all a bit too easy; although they're wild birds it didn't feel at all natural, which makes me feel much less proud of the images. I had a very fun day, don't get me wrong, but I think if the last photo had been an un-baited bird (and not at a paid hide) I would feel much more accomplished for getting it. Anyway, i'm rambling a bit but this was meant as a bit of a disclaimer that these aren't wild photos I suppose. I would still highly recommend going to see it if you never have!
 
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Paul
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#3
You got some great shots there Luke, the second one is a cracker as is the fourth. You must have been pretty close to them to get the shots with that 70- 300mm lens.
 
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#4
You got some great shots there Luke, the second one is a cracker as is the fourth. You must have been pretty close to them to get the shots with that 70- 300mm lens.
Thanks Paul. They were very close; the number of shots I deleted because I'd clipped a wing when they turned and spread their wings wide was rediculous! Most the time it was tricky just to pick one bird to focus on or to get one bird in frame alone.
 
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Jeff
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#5
They are always spectacular to photograph ,and you did well in the weather go again on a nice day with no wind and blue skies . It’s fun and good practise
 
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#7
Thanks Jeff and Andy :)
It was a mixed bag of weather; there were a few moments of bright blue sky but a lot of variable cloud as well.
I seem to have strange taste in photos... I seem to quite often pick a different favourite to a lot of people. For me the final image wins, for the eye contact and the way the wings match the shape of the mountain behind. Different strokes for different folks!
 
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Dale.
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#8
A very nice set.

Please don't feel any less accomplished by being in a paid hide, it still takes patience and know how. It always feels better when it's all your own work for sure but there is nothing wrong with the odd paid hide visit, I think most of us have done it to varying degrees. It helps keep your eye in too.

The first image is my pick, maybe you could lift the exposure and/or shadows on it a little?

The kite in the last image certainly looks like it's on a mission. (y)
 
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#10
Cheers Dale and Bob :)

Funnily enough Dale, today I went back and lifted the exposure on the 1st and 3rd and prefer them both after!
Sometimes I get so excited to process images straight away, and go through them all in a session and think they're done. I'm realising that I need to come back the next day with fresh eyes before they're really done. Some images I still go back and tweak months later
 
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Jeff
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#11
Not been to that one but done the two other main welsh ones ,gigrin farm is a bit to commercialised for my tastes and although it has various hides at different heights it can work out bloody expensive ..
I had my first visit to Nant-y-Arian a couple of weeks ago and very impressed if you just go for feeding times you can get away with just £2 for parking or a all day ticket is a bargain at £5 that’s it unless you have some food in the lovely cafe . I will definitely be returning in the summer for a longer visit
 
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#12
This one was £4 per person, and then you have one long hide to choose a position in. We were by ourselves for most of it; one other lady showed up and watched for 10 minutes and left. There was also a bit (where we stood most the time) where you could walk out the end of the hide and just stand behind a fence so you could see above and all around. To be honest, watching them fly overhead at absurdly close range was one of the highlights.
 
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Roger
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#13
Thanks Jeff and Andy :)
I seem to have strange taste in photos... I seem to quite often pick a different favourite to a lot of people. For me the final image wins, for the eye contact and the way the wings match the shape of the mountain behind. Different strokes for different folks!
100% with you there. The others are good, although the shadows need raising a bit, but this one gives a real feel of a wild bird in its environment. For me the most exciting of the group.
 

Caerus

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#15
I see them daily in the wild where I live but they fly too high up.

When they feed is the best time to photograph them but I have never seen them land near me.

Except for one time I accidentally stumbled across a large area of their nests.

I counted 9 in the sky at the same time and they were landing in nearby gardens of a housing estate a stones throw away.

I believe the residents were deliberately leaving food for them and knew them well.

Tempting to take a camera there but is it not rude to stand on a housing estate with a big camera lol.

I expect I would get an angry reaction if shooting into peoples property.
 
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#16
This one was £4 per person, and then you have one long hide to choose a position in. We were by ourselves for most of it; one other lady showed up and watched for 10 minutes and left. There was also a bit (where we stood most the time) where you could walk out the end of the hide and just stand behind a fence so you could see above and all around. To be honest, watching them fly overhead at absurdly close range was one of the highlights.
at nant your in the open no hides (there is one but its very close to the birds ) so you have a 360 degree p.o.v and they also drop food in the lake and swoop to get it again
 
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