Green Heron (and some considerations of noise)
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I am not going to say that the Green Heron is uncommon, but this year with a lot of birds being rarer than normal, this bird and his kin were a big hit.
I took a lot of pictures of Green Herons this summer. And I intend to publish a few more of them. This one however illustrates a couple of points.
Before I took this photograph I was unhappy with the bird’s position, the lighting etc. until the bird turned into the light. It was a wow moment that made my day. The whole bird was illuminated perfectly. Only on returning home did I discover a few issues. The noise and the saturation in the sky are exaggerated by the significant cropping I did to focus on the subject and the use of a tele-converter. The bird on the other hand is well lit and well defined. Still I would consider this a keeper because the sky provides a bit of drama.
Some thoughts on noise.
Recently there has been some interest in noise in digital photographs. Noise occurs at high ISOs, some cameras have sensors where the noise appears at relatively low ISOs and others at higher ISOs (800 to a 1600). In my view noise is equivalent to grain in film photography.
In the photograph above it is not just noise we are seeing but the limits of resolution and noise. In other words the cropping has magnified the picture closer to the pixel level. If you apply noise reduction in post-processing, what you are doing is smoothing out the rough spots. Literally the pixels will smear like paint if your software removes all of the noise. I lived with grain when I shot film and therefore I can live with some noise in the digital age.