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 post processing 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 post processing 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.


  1. Stu August 21, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Great Photo Mia!

  2. M. Firpi August 21, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    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.

    • Mia McPherson August 25, 2012 at 10:50 am

      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.

  3. Bob Zeller August 21, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    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.

  4. Tami Vogel August 21, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Love the detail and subtle colors on this, Mia.

    • Mia McPherson August 25, 2012 at 10:47 am

      Thank you Tami, I was pleased to get that much detail even using such a high ISO (for the D70)

  5. Dan Huber August 21, 2012 at 4:44 am

    Nice photo Mia. once again your photography lessons are helpful 🙂

    • Mia McPherson August 25, 2012 at 10:46 am

      Thank you Dan, thanks also for letting me know this post was helpful.

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