Red Kite Diving

By late October, the sun is relatively low in the sky, making it easier to photograph birds in flight. The feeding station at Gigrin Farm near Rhayader attracts hundreds of red kites, as well as buzzards, ravens and rooks. The aerobatic kites circle, making tight turns and then suddenly dive to collect food. As they do so, the underside of the bird catches the light perfectly. It requires lightening fast reactions to follow the birds as they dive and a shutter speed of 1/1600th of a second to freeze the action. From previous experience, I also knew that the brightly lit pale underside of a diving kite needs a pre-set exposure of one stop less than for a circling kite.