Great Blue Heron and a Few Words on Auto ISO (Three Photographs)

great-blue-heron-3To view more of my photography please click on

These were taken on a very windy day with the Heron in the middle of the lake. Almost back-lit but I liked the look. In my previous two posts I have talked about ISO. ISO for digital is not the same as for film. They have created a new standard for digital that reflects how much work the sensor has to do to catch the light (in film it measure’s sensitivity to light). Like all electronics, when you raise the sensitivity you get noise. Noise may sometimes look like film grain. Film grain was an element of the film and depending on how much grain you liked that was the film you bought. Modern cameras that have an auto ISO function are used by many photographers, removing a variable from their calculations. Some cameras do not tell you what ISO you are using in auto ISO mode , it just says auto, and hence my reluctance to use it. Now that I have a camera that does tell me the choices it has selected I am a little more comfortable using it.  The Auto-ISO setting asks you to set a minimum shutter speed and the highest ISO you are prepared to use. So for nature photography I seldom shoot below 1/500th of a second and while I know ISO 3200 can be very noisy, in the darker part of the forest it means I can take shots. My only concern is that the camera may err on a higher ISO. But it’s an option and a good one.



10 responses

  1. I have all but given up on dealing with ISO out in the wild. Too many variables with moving shadows and subjects. I even boosted my ISO to a max of 12,000. That is pushing though and may go back to the normal world.


    February 4, 2017 at 11:45 am

  2. Same problem here. I only have a 200 zoom and an entry-level camera (D3200) I don’t feel good about raising ISO above 800 but sometimes, unless I’m in sun, I have to in order to keep an acceptable speed. It’s a catch-22.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 4, 2017 at 5:23 pm

  3. Good info, though your camera does so much more than mine… the highest ISO I have is 1600, which I rarely use because of the graininess. Would a faster shutter speed reduce noise?
    The linear look to the pond dotted with lilies makes this an interesting shot – love the angles and one leg, particularly in the first photo.


    February 4, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    • Thank you. Noise is unaffected by shutter speed. If you use a tripod, you can go with a much lower speed and ISO.


      February 4, 2017 at 5:36 pm

  4. Beautiful!


    March 7, 2017 at 10:42 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s