I made a bit of an error this past weekend. Wanting to make better use of my camera I eschewed the automatic settings I previously relied on for one that would allow me to change the shutter speed, contrast, white balance, etc. The photographs looked absolutely amazing when I saw the previews on my camera screen, but when I got home I noticed something disconcerting. You see, I had selected a high iso value, essentially making sure that I would have a fast shutter speed even in dim conditions. The trade-off is that the pictures come out incredibly grainy, looking flat rather than crisp. Take this photograph of a female gorilla for example; it looked great on my screen but is awful now that I see a larger version;
The grainy texture is made even worse when I was shooting through dusty, wet, or dirty glass, as with the black leopards;
Compare those with this photograph of a horseshoe crab I took on my trip to Delaware;
What does this mean? Well first I need more practice knowing what iso values to use and when to do so. This can be problematic with wildlife, especially if they won’t sit still and pose for you. Second, I need to go back to the Bronx zoo to try again. Every time I go it’s different, some days offering better opportunities than others, but I want to give things another try. The Wednesday after my math course ends (Friday of next week, yikes!) I’m going to make a return visit. Before that, though, I’ll be going to the Philadelphia zoo, so there should be plenty of photos to share soon. I just hope they come out better than the ones I took on Saturday.