Wednesday, February 25, 2015

0 High ISO Test

With the Bald Eagle numbers so low recently,  I decided to run a test to see how much noise high ISO’s would introduce into my pictures.  By using the higher ISO’s I was also testing much faster shutter speeds than I normally shoot with.  I found that 3200 ISO introduced a sizable amount of noise into the photograph.  I will probably try and avoid using that high of and ISO anymore when shooting wildlife.  1600 ISO seemed ok but it did introduce a little noise as well, at least for my camera.  The rest of the lower ISO’s seemed less significant in the amount of noise they introduce in the photograph.  However I found that 200 ISO was the clearest of them all, but 400 and 800 were not much worse than 200.  

For a while I was actively avoiding shooting shots with an ISO higher than 400 but I believe now that I can get away with using up to 1600 ISO and still get a nice clear shot.  I have not looked into using noise reduction software in post processing, but I know there are some out there.  Hopefully this will help my wildlife photography out, because often my photographs are blurry or I miss shots because the shutter speed is too low.  So using the higher ISO should allow me to use faster shutter speeds and should allow for more clarity with motion photographs.  

I included some of my test shots of birds by my feeders.  One shot is of what I believe is a white-throated sparrow hopping along the ground, and it was taken with 3200 ISO.  The other photos of the blue jay and the tufted titmouse were taken at 1600 ISO.  The harsh lighting did not help the photos any, but I believe that the higher ISO is not really as big an issue as I once believed.  At least now I hope I won’t be afraid to use high ISO, because I think getting the picture is more important than missing it because I was afraid to introduce noise into the photograph.  Please feel free to comment or ask questions, or leave your thoughts on the use of high ISO in wildlife photography.  Until Next time.

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