Common Gallinule adult

Common Gallinule adultCommon Gallinule adult – Nikon D70, handheld, f5.6, 1/50, ISO 1600, Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 300mm, natural light

Not that long ago Common Gallinules (Gallinula galeata) were called Common Moorhens (Gallinula chloropus), it will take me some time to get used to the new name.

This image was created at Sawgrass County Park in Pinellas County, Florida under the shade of trees in low light about 5 years ago. It was taken with my first DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera which by now is considered older than dirt and a low price VR lens. The D70 wasn’t well known for how it handled higher ISO’s but this image was taken at ISO 1600 and I was rather pleased with the results.  I applied a small amount of noise reduction (NR) to the background in postprocessing with no noise reduction on the bird or perch, I masked the bird and perch and applied sharpening to just those subjects.

The key was to get the exposure right at the time the image was created, increasing exposure in postprocessing can introduce unwanted noise.

While it might be nice to be able to afford the latest, most up to date camera body and to have the best of lenses, quality images can be created with older model camera bodies and lower cost, shorter focal length lenses.


*I am away for a while so I have prescheduled this post, please feel free to share it with your friends and family.

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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. I love these, and have watched them rear their chicks. Beautiful capture with the gorgeous colours of the adult. I also went to the Sawgrass County Park. I also saw Little Blue Herons but it was really shadowed, so I didn’t get many keepers. It’s at those times when I wish I had the high-end Full frame DSLR to get better ISO performance. But then I have to give up the crop factor camera and loose the reach with the telephoto lenses.

    • Maria, you should be able to use higher ISO’s with your camerathan I could have with my ancient D70. Sawgrass CP can be a challenge to find good light on birds because there are so many trees.

  2. Great exposure on that dark-colored bird. I agree. It is not the camera, but the photographer that is the determining factor to getting great images.

  3. Love the detail and subtle colors on this, Mia.

  4. Nice photo Mia. once again your photography lessons are helpful :)

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