Red Kite

This is a beautiful raptor that we mainly keep here in Europe. This one was circling around a field on the English/Welsh boarder (, one morning last week. They are fast and wary of people so getting good shots isn’t easy. I’m not a great fan of “in flight” shots just against a background of sky so getting the smallest few branches of a tree hopefully does improve it (in my opinion).
I’m pleased with the shot but it was a fair distance away so it’s pushing the limits in terms of resolution and focus. This crop is about 70% of the frame.

Specific Feedback Requested

Does the addition of the tree help or should it be closer in on the bird?
Any other comments or suggestions appreciated

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Lumix GX8
Panasonic Leica 100-400 @400mm
Some Topaz de-noise in the edit

Hi Ryan,

This is a great image. I like the pose of the bird and the positioning in the frame. I think the tree tops give it some sense of scale and does a bit of grounding. Nice work, I am terrible with birds in flight…

I agree with David. Detail is excellent. You got a nice pose and the bird is making eye contact. One tiny issue; I think you could lighten up the plumage on the wings near the body took more closely match the luminosity on the distal part of both wings.

Thanks for the comments. Here’s a re-post with the underside of the wings slightly lightened.
Yes, I think it’s an improvement.
Thanks again


Yes, much better detail!