A Red Kite photographed in flight during a photography workshop

A red kite photographed in flight.

A red kite photographed in flight.


Red kites belong to the same family as eagles and buzzards. They can grow up to 60-70 cm (24-27 in) with a wingspan of 175-179 cm (69-70 in). This red kite is from a bird photography workshop that I attended 2012 where I also got three beautiful portrait photos of bald eagles.

It took some time until I had figured out the correct settings for my Nikon D7000 to capture those fast moving animals in mid-air. First, it was all about sharpness.

As long as the distance between myself and the bird was nearly constant, the autofocus did a pretty good job and I got sharp photos. But those birds are so fast, that the autofocus just couldn't keep up.

Second was all about shutter speed. I learned that I needed fast shutter speed like 1/2000 or faster. For this photo, I got a shutter speed of 1/5000. I could get such a fast shutter speed only by increasing ISO to 800 which keeps the noise the Nikon D7000 creates within an acceptable range.

As with all the Pre iPhone Photography Photos in the blog, I recently re-edited this RAW with Adobe Lightroom Mobile.