Last night as the sun was nearing dusk, it was still quite bright, I grabbed my camera after spying a Cormorant on the coveted pylon. I checked the settings to determine wrongly that it was set correctly. I had set the ISO to 320 earlier in the day accompanied by f 6.3. I had taken several photos of the dark feathered bird a few hours prior to this encounter.
The resulting photos had a delete ration of about 30%, 10% is my goal for an overall average.
However I was on the patio during the late afternoon to begin taking snaps of the Cormorant. I noticed the Sun was a bit bright but I assumed the camera would set the appropriate shutter speed (I use aperture priority mode). All of the images were over-exposed, too much light was allowed in. Two issues presented themselves, I did not judge the conditions correctly and The ISO should have been set in the 500-800 area, letting the sensor absorb light faster and in larger quantities would have told the camera to set the shutter speed higher relying on the internal light meter.
This Cormorant was taken with the Sun directly overhead, the time was nearly high noon. The camera’s at f-9 with an ISO 640 Shutter 1/3200, quite a difference as compared to the underexposed I took later in the day. With the later pictures I should have realized to set the ISO gradually higher while watching the Shutter speed to make sure it stayed within the 1/325-1/500 range. I suspect it would have been around the 1/1000 mark, maybe higher, that doesn’t matter too much if the other settings balance.
The Green Heron above was captured at high noon as well, f-6.3 ISO 640 and again the 1/3200 shutter speed. If I had left the settings there before taking pictures of the over-exposed later in the day the Shutter speed would have been either left the same or increased. The reason being is the Sun was at an unfortunate angle casting an intense light directly on the subject.
I need to become better at reading the conditions, there always seems to be a bit of a question about it. I am sure the ability to understand how all of this works together comes with experience. It’s also suspected with the modern cameras it is difficult to mess up as long as the ISO is set correctly. Taking in a lot of light in a short amount of time is an advantage unless the shutter is set too low as mine was yesterday at 1/80. I didn’t notice it until I began editing, then deleted the entire session.
Jacques Lebec Flutter Shutter