Common Kestrel Full Wing Spread

Common Kestrel Full Wing Spread

Here we have the Common Kestrel from an unusual angle - in flight from above, with the wings fully spread. This allows us to observe the beautiful wings from the colorful, less seen side (at least whilst in flight) - and there's a lot to love here!! The Kestrel was hunting for insects so I was able to position myself above where it caught most of them, to grab some pictures from an angle usually not easy to obtain.

What do I like about this photo? The pose - with the wings fully spread we can see the beautiful patterns on them, down to each and every feather. There's a good amount of details there, too. The color contrast is good - with the background grey and green and the Kesrel brown. I used an open aperture (f/5.6 - the most open my lens supports at the focal length of 250mm I used) to create a shallow depth of field, so the Kestrel is sharp the the background is blurred out. I used a fast shutter speed (1/2500 of a second) to freeze the action, so the Kestrel is sharp despite it moving rather quickly.

What would I want to improve? A shallower depth of field might have been nice, but my lens does not support an more open aperture. Might not have been trivial, actually, since the wings make the subject pretty wide, so to get sharpness across the wings could have been an issue with a shallower depth of field. Locating the subject at the right of the frame would also have been an improvement (but, alas, it was moving too quickly for me to make that adjustment).


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