1/250th of a second..
It is pre-dawn on the Broward. The sky is just beginning to brighten before the sunrise. The harvest moon is setting on the horizon. The Editor and I are doing morning devotions. Flocks of Cattle Egrets winging by the window interrupt my thoughts. Flashes of white motion fill the air. If only I could share that moment with you, that 1/250th of a second of wonder.
It is just too dark to do that though I said to myself. But I tried anyway using some basic photography skills. Per one on line tutorial “One of the three pillars of photography that can dramatically affect the look of your images is camera ISO (the other two shutter speed and aperature). Like those two settings, ISO controls the brightness of your photos, and it is a crucial setting to use properly if you want to take the best possible images.” Digital cameras of today are quite capable of capturing low light images. It requires a high ISO to do so. So what is ISO? ISO on a camera stands for International Standards Organization, which is the governing body that sets sensitivity standards for sensors in digital cameras. ISO settings determine how sensitive the camera’s sensor is to light, while taking various types of photos. Low ISO selection gives less noise or graininess than high ISO. But you need high ISOs for low light.
The Ansel Adams of today spend hours in the computer “darkroom” adjusting photos for noise (ie graininess), sharpness, shadows, etc. like the old film photographers did in the darkrooms of yesteryear. So what did I capture in that 1/250thof a second? As you can see from the photos below the motion of the wings is blurred at 1/250th of a second. I needed a high ISO required to brighten the image without “blowing” out the white wings. To have sharper images would require a higher shutter speed of greater than 1/1000thof a second. But that would darken the image. If I could scan the birds motion properly with my doohickey though I might capture a few birds in focus depending on my focus point used. By now I am sure I have lost most of my readers. These are just some of the things that go through a photographers mind trying to capture that perfect image to share. But sometimes you don’t have even but a fraction of a second to capture the moment.
So what did I capture in that 1/250th of a second shutter speed with high ISO? Per the Editor, I captured the heartbeat of God in the wingbeats of the birds. Be blessed this beautiful October day.