Photographing Norfolk Raptors - Lightroom Workflow

Raptors on the North Norfolk Coast

One of the reasons for our yearly trek to this part of the country is the wildlife that is crammed into such a small area.  The north Norfolk coastline is relatively small stretch of land, but it is a unique mixture of habitat that encourages some of the best birds in the country to establish nest sites, not least of all some of our raptor species.


Red Kite Flypast

Although we have these kites at home in Northern Ireland (I've snapped them in Co. Down and at my local patch Oxford Island thanks to a successful re-introduction scheme), the coast here is now more and more popular with these graceful big birds of prey.

RSPB Titchwell gave us great views of this one one morning, and the current weather makes for a great sky for snapping raptors, if the sun is coming over your shoulder of course.


Red Kite against a great blue sky at RSPB Titchwell Marsh

The above image was created using the Canon 7Dmk2 and Sigma 150-600mm C lens, handheld from a low hide window, with the sun coming in from the right shoulder angle.

1/800s as the bird was nice and slow, f/6.3 widest for the lens and ISO160.  Central focus point as almost always was used, just clipping the shoulder area of the right wing, using f/6.3 meant the head and eye was in focus.



DPP4 Screen showing focal area and focus points used


The lightroom workflow was extremely basic for this one after cropping for composition, with most of it done on a brush selection of the bird - shadows lifted, sharpened by +70, slight adjustment to clarity.
Overall image adjustments were:

Shadows & Vibrance 

Barn Owl

Barn owls have always been a favourite of mine, with low nesting numbers at home, the barn owl is thriving in Norfolk, and almost every year we visit we see one in the fields around the house or area.  This year was no different, with the first night bringing vies of this owl.  The next few nights we waited to get the timings of the bird's visit to the field and then shooting from the upstairs veranda of the house, I took the following image of the bird in flight in the field across the road:


Barn Owl in Flight - 1/800s - ISO250 - F/6.3 - 600mm


Marsh Harrier

The marsh harrier is now legendary on the Norfolk coast, as this bird has made this area its home over the past years.  Almost every salt marsh has its resident bird(s) flying overhead on any given day, and they make a wonderful sight, even better through a lens.  This one was snapped in the same field as he barn owl, flying low just off the tops of the meter high grasses and poppies:


Male Marsh Harrier - 1640s - F/6.3 - ISO250 - 600mm

We've another 2 weeks in the area, so here's hoping we have more good views of the big raptors in Norfolk!


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