Richard Smart - Nature Photography


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      Red Kite



A sequence shot at seven frames per second where a Red Kite took meat scraps from the water surface.  All the meat from the feed area had been eaten and only that in the water was left.  A poor drake mallard got beaten up when it found a bit, the Kites soon spotted him.  These shots were taken at the Nant yr Arian, Ceredigion.

Youngsters and old enjoying the Kites

Gigrin Farm in the heart of Wales makes a superb photo-shoot location.  The birds are fed each afternoon and as many as 500 kites can arrive in winter.  The day I was there, in autumn 2009, we estimated about 200-300.  You see 100 or so in front of you close in for the food but if you look through these into the distant sky you can see as many again waiting to come in.
Any photographer interested in birds should go to Gigrin.  An advance booking can secure you a place in one of the special photographic hides, these give you plenty of room for tripods etc. and are specifically for photographers.  There is a nominal charge but it is well worth it.  We spent two hours continually shooting.  Take plenty of cards and batteries, or film if you still use it of course.

Often it is difficult to isolate a single kite there are so many in the sky.  The picture to the left is a simple crop of one shot.  There are no photoshop tricks.  In the original full frame shot there were 18 kites and of course when using a long lens this was only a small fraction of the view I had before me.