01 January 2023

Shooting Birds in Flight at higher ISO’s / moodiness of poor light

Poor Light Conditions and Exposure Settings

Little Egret in flight - Canon EOS 7D Mark II - Woodbridge Island @ ISO 1600
Little Egret in flight - Canon EOS 7D Mark II - Woodbridge Island @ ISO 1600

My students know that I’m an great believer of Auto-ISO on all DSLR's in my bag (for Birds in Flight photography.) On this occasion (a while before Covid) I looked out the window and observed ISO weather of between ISO 1200 – 3200. A bitterly cold and horrible day for anything outside let alone Birds in Flight Photography. Normally on a day like this, I will evaluate my opportunity cost options and rather do something else.

But, I had a new client, super keen on testing out his brand new kit (body and lens) and I had little choice but to assist him in his quest for mastering application / practice. I did however, offered him coffee (instead) on Woodbridge Island before this shoot, but the lad wanted to shoot – so off we went.

Herewith one of the images I managed to capture with my traditional Birds in Flight settings on that day - remember I deliberately selected Auto-ISO to see the results. EXIF Data: ISO 1600 / f/5.6 / 1/2500s.

Little egret in flight over the Diep River Woodbridge Island with Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens.

Grey reflections behind the bird: Icy cold water of the Diep River, reflecting the state of the sky above...

Follow-up response from a Facebook comment wrt these type of conditions:
"Available light / correct exposure is relative to what you are photographing - and how well the photographer understands light - either in application and / or impact on the creation of a specific image 'look and feel'. Quite a lot of photographers will purchase better and better equipment without learning / understanding the impact of light, the challenge(s) of light an or the application of light (or for that matter, exposure). whatever the conditions.

The experienced photographer will embrace a variety of light qualities - on a spectrum of poor to good - and work accordingly. It's not easy at times, but one learn what decisions to take / or not to take. Many days I look out the window and say I don't have to be there, because its miserable, and I don't go shooting. On another day miserable light may bring a special effect or drama... the more the photographer understand light / exposure the more he / she will extract value out of the conditions. As long as there is light, the camera will deliver (and I'm talking about natural light here, not flash / Speedlite flash or any other artificial light - this is an entirely different proposition)."

Facebook Page Source: Poor Light Conditions and Exposure Settings

Vernon Chalmers Photography Training Intaka Island | Kirstenbosch Garden | Woodbridge Island

Vernon Chalmers Photography Popular Posts