Noise Or No Noise

Birds in Flight 23/08/2020

The images I captured today were taken using a higher ISO.

To explain that in the simplest way possible, ISO is one of three elements that make up a digital image:

  • Aperture
  • Shutter Speed
  • ISO

When using Manual on the camera you set them all – aperture, shutter and ISO.

If the object you are photographing is well lit you can use ISO 400 – 800.

Take today; in the morning the light was good enough on the branch for me to take flight shots.

To enable me to get flight shots with the bird and wings frozen in focus, I need a shutter speed between 1/2000-1/3200.

The morning was fine but in the afternoon the light went was poor so I had to push my ISO up to 3200/4000. Pushing it up gave me more light, and it looked like I had captured some great crisp, clear images.


When I imported the image files, they looked good but there was noise.

Noise is a term we use in the photography game which simply means that the area surrounding the bird is grainy. It is a bone of contention with a lot of people – some like a grainy look and some like it to be very smooth.

Comments Requested

When you see the images, I would really appreciate your feedback in the comments section – give your honest opinion on how they look – do you think they look good or would prefer a smoother image. Thank you.

Written by

I am 63 years old and and since a boy have had an interest in wildlife and in particular birds. I help my Dad with the rearing of young finches and other birds. I had many small birds as pets and as i got older and joined the Military i purchsed my first Camera, and fold out Kodak. Over a 22 year period i enjoyed many countries outside the uk and observed many species of birds. When i left the military in 2000, i bought my first digital camera a Canon 450D with a Tamron 70-300 and started my journey on capturing images of birds and animals. I quickly learned that there was a lot more to getting a good image of a bird, so i started to research the best settings for my camera in order to capture a better image. Over a 12 month period i realised that needed to invest in a better camera and lens and after research bought a Canon 50D and a 100-400 Lens. It was 2013 when i really got to grips with the setup and came across a lovely Short Eared Owl. From that meeting i started to concentrate on Owls as they fasinated me. From Canon to Olympus i recently jumped ship again to Sony. The variety of birds i have captured over a 10 year period is vast and at present i have a wildlife hide in lancashire where most of my images are captured.

1 comment

  1. I can’t really tell what the difference is, except the images of the birds themselves don’t look as clear and crisp as some of your other photos.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: