Scale-throated Hermit

Amazing what newer cameras and software can do to a high ISO shot

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This image is a good example of how new software and cameras have changed the way we can photograph birds in the dark rainforests. This is a Scale-throated Hermit from Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest. A common bird, it is frequently seen anyplace there are flowers, whether wild or garden. To try and freeze the motion of the bird (it is a hummingbird after all) I had to use a fast shutter speed. Because it was also dark (very early in the morning) That required that my ISO value was very high-16,000. ISO value is a measurement of how sensitive you want your camera’s sensor (“electronic film”) to be. The good news is that when you make the ISO very high, your sensor is very sensitive to even small amounts of light. The bad news is that your sensor is then also sensitive to electronic “noise”. That can make your image very grainy and have no detail or color. Newer cameras and more importantly, new computer software can greatly negate this problem allowing images to be taken and used that, in the past, would have been instant deletes. Shot with a Canon R5, 600 mm f/4.0 lens; SS 1/2000, f/4.0, ISO 16,000. Processed in DXO Pure Raw, PS, and then passed through Topaz DeNoise at very low settings.

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Remarkable shot!


Another great photo.