Common Kestrel in Flight

Common Kestrel in Flight

The Common Kestrel is one of my favorite birds of prey. Not much larger than a dove, this brave raptor is an amazing flying machine - able to both fly at incredible speeds and stay in the same spot in the air, using rapid wing-movement. As such it can be quite challenging to catch in the frame when in the air at times.

this photo shows a female (females are a bit larger and have the same pattern on their heads as on the rest of their bodies, whereas males have grey heads), in flight, in a partially frontal view. This was not an easy photo to take!

What do I like about this photo? The beautiful subject, and the incredible pose, showing the determination in the eyes and the endless wings in full spread. The background is interesting, but blurred out, as I was using an open aperture (f/5.1 - the most open my lens supports at the focal length of 200mm that I used) to create a shallow depth of field. There's quite a bit of details on the bird and especially on the wings.

What would I want to improve? The focus on the head is not spot-on. More details would have been available had the camera nailed the focus perfectly.


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