A Few Minutes to Spare

Photographers in their spare time often just shoot pictures for the sake of practicing. Using different modes and or exploring the different metering settings and ISO settings can give you a great look into your camera and it’s capabilities. I took part in this practice last night and did some experimentation with high ISO settings and some spot metering. Ranging between 3200 and 6400 I wanted to see for myself just how much grain would be present by using these higher settings. To my delight I have to say that although some grain was present, I was pleased with my results on some very fast-moving targets.

Photo shot with ISO of 3200@1/500 of a second f5.6

Opting to use a spot focus and a fairly open aperture I achieved the goal of showing some motion but had a very sharp view of the hummingbirds eye. A must have when doing photos of wildlife. As you can see the grain that is present is minimal and overall is a good photo.

Shot 2

High shutter high ISO open Aperture

This photo was taken using an iso setting of 6400 and although it is not as sharp, it was good enough for explanation purposes.  I used light room to enhance the color and soften the shot slightly. Using a high shutter speed, I snapped before the photo was locked into focus and that is partly due to the subject. A while back I wrote a story for DSLR BLOGS called HIGH SPEED HUMMERS and mentioned that hummers are tough because of the high rate of speed in which they move at. I could spend hours trying to get that one perfect shot. Over time the birds will get used to your presence and it does get a little easier but they are by nature a skiddish creature.


This shot, it started to come together. I settled on Iso 6400 and used the shutter speed of 1/3000th of a sec. Bumping the aperture to 6.3  I was able to capture just a little more detail and clarity in this shot. As evident in this shot you can see how sharp the focus on the eye was, and as mentioned earlier, it cannot be stressed enough, the eye’s in wildlife photos is the most important factor when capturing an image. It’s the difference between a good shot and an average. Many will say that,” well the rest of the photo is not as sharp”. You can take my word on this, the people who make decisions on whats good in photography will discard your photo if that eye is not in focus. It will be the difference between publishing credits and a full trash can.

Last shot,

Pushy Male

of course is of a male, who seems to be the dominant bird of the day. As the hummers came in this guy was playing sentry and would chase the others away. As he left the post another would come in and sip the nectar. As he returned the others would exit before he had a oppurtunity to chase them off.  This shot once again focused on the eye, and the shutter speed was 1/500th of a second. By using the higher ISO settings I was able to employ a higher shutter speed and in turn this allowed me to step open my aperture to 5.6. Some motion exist in the photo from the wings beating, but what I failed to mention up to this point was the fact that these photos were all taken with almost no natural light. The sun had set and with just a few minutes to spare I took these photos at dark. Using the high ISO’s give the illusion that daylight still existed but for the most part, they were taken in the dark and no flash was used in the capture.

Gives you a pretty good idea of just how capable my 7d is. By experimenting with the settings and understanding how a camera see’s light you can push the limits of these bodies and break the rules of traditional photography.

Thanks for the read and hope you enjoyed.

Shoot the Light,





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