I say "handed" when I really should say "I picked up" because I did this to myself.
I couldn't figure out why my photos had suddenly gone all grainy. I blamed my new lens, a Sigma 50-500mm. Except that this was happening with all my lenses. Maybe I was just too far away from my subjects and that's why they weren't tack sharp? Maybe it was the light? Or, maybe I am an idiot?
I was at the cottage last Saturday, and as I stood on the dock early in the morning, I looked down and saw a tiny white feather on the surface of the water, which at that time of day was dead calm and black. As this little feather came closer, I could see the little bits of down were soaked with dew, like tiny crystal beads. It was beautiful, so I quickly took some shots before it disappeared under the dock. I was so excited I immediately loaded the photos to my laptop, and was crushed to see the same problem crop up again - over-exposed, grainy, blurry photos.
Turns out, after some deep-sea diving into my camera's settings, I discovered the ISO was re-set to 1,250. (I usually have it set between 100-400.) That's when I decided to make lemonade. I would manipulate the photo, and exaggerate the contrast even more, as though I meant to do this. No one will ever know unless they read this blog, or check my behind for footprints where I kicked myself. They'll think it's artistic license.
Later that day, I returned to the scene of the crime and found another feather, though it lacked the lovely beads of dew and the water was a lot rougher. This is what the first one was supposed to look like.
Ah, lesson learned.