I’m still messing with the light meter settings for the early morning hours. I am for now avoiding low light situations but there is a slight merging of dark and light that lasts for nearly an hour. During that time I need to set the camera to over expose just a bit, this morning I set it on +1/2 and it seemed to help. However I still got an image of black birds on a solid blue background.
This flock is illuminated nearly correctly as the colors and details are almost visible. Mount Diablo in the distance is how I like it to appear when used as a backdrop. But unfortunately I believe it creates a lighter area behind dark subjects. If I had set the white balance to +1 it may have turned out brighter.
After roughing it up in the editor this image resulted in being usable for my blogs. One of the criteria is the subjects must be distinguishable, if I look at one of my images wondering what I’m seeing it’s a major red flag. But this one ended up just alright, I will be able to use it.
The Cormorant on the other hand caught the light of the rising Sun at the most opportune time. It was just rising with a sliver of rays pouring over the horizon. The Golden Cast of light reflected off of the wet plumage coloring the light areas Gold. Still the bright blue background remains but curiously it did not overcome the bird resulting in turning it pitch black. Perhaps the +1/2 was just right for this image but for the previous Curlew photo it was not. My question is now if I will have to change the setting between shots. But more than that I have a hefty learning curve to determine what dictates changing it. It may be all I have to do is change the position of my camera from the porch to the top of the levee. I talked to our neighborhood contractor about building a landing for my wheelchair at the end of the ramp to offer me more options in changing positions.
I shot this image of a Mud-hen from that position, it ended up soft but usable. It may be the angle of the camera to the Sun even though I was in the shade while the bird was in the morning Sun. It’s obvious the light is reflected off of the birds head at about the same angle as the Cormorant while the Curlew photo was more of a dead on light. An angle light seems to allow for more reflection as long as the feathers of the bird will reflect. One other consideration is the higher the ISO the brighter the image, I could conceivably control the light and dark in that manner; we’ll see.
Tomorrow I shall set the light meter to +1 until I get the ISO down from 2200 to around 800. At that point I will set it at 0, the shutter speed will be advancing to the faster side as well. When I get the ISO down to 320 with the shutter speed around 500-800 exposure will return to normal and I will make a decision whether to go all the way to ISO 100. Which at that time I will gladly do because there are two benefits for a lower setting. The first is it affords more detail and two the background noise will be a none issue. In fact the static doesn’t become noticeable until I am above 800 which is easily repaired in the editor.
Jacques Lebec Flutter Shutter