Oops – was I supposed to check the ISO?

I decided to see how the eagles were doing out around Boundary Bay. Close to the airport there’s a turf company that seems to attract seagulls and eagles, so I grabbed my Sigma 120-400 and my D300 and went to see what I could find.

There wasn’t as many eagles as I’d hoped, but there were a few in the treetops and others flying around with the seagulls. I grabbed some shots as I walked around and tried some panning as well, hoping to catch a clear shot of the birds in flight.

_DSC7398-Edit-Edit-EditThe photos looked great on the camera screen. They always do. But when I got home, they had a funny look to them. Soft, almost blurry. Hmmm. What’s up?

I’d loaned my D300 to a colleague, while his was in for sensor cleaning. Could he have changed some settings? Was it the lens?

Delving deeper, I started going through the pictures some more. Noise. Serious noise present in every one. Back to the camera, and sure enough, I’d forgotten to check the ISO setting. I’d checked the shutter and aperture and did some testing for exposure, but you don’t need and ISO of 3200 on a sunny day. Sigh.

Anyway, what to do. I dove into Lightroom to try a few things, and while I was there, I remembered I had Nik’s Define 2.0 plugin. Ran a couple of pictures through that and it cleaned them up to an amazing extent. Added a bit of Nik’s Sharpener 2, popped them back into Lightroom, and I’ve got a few usable pics. Not great, but usable.

Lesson learned: Reset things to a common denominator right after a shoot (or after lending out your camera). That way you’ll get fewer unwanted surprises and most likely, better photos.



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