Sunday 21 February 2010


Noise, or grain as we used to call it in the good? ol film days is a very subjective subject, What is a noisey image for one person is perfectly acceptable for somebody else, I wont shoot my Nikon D300 over ISO 400 as for me the images show too much noise, In fact its not really for me its what i know agencies will except, In the days of slide/film agencies didn't like taking images over ISO 200 but these days they will take any ISO as long as they are low grain, What does that mean? well to me its ISO 400 on a D300 and ISO 1600 on a D3, Now if i was shooting purely for personal reasons those figures would go out of the window as i could use a noise reduction software like noise ninja or imagenomic, Agencies wont allow the use of NR software so a well exposed,sharp and low grain image are the order of the day, alot of the new cameras these days are sold as low grain and high ISO but that doesn't mean that you can shoot willy nilly at high ISO and get nice smooth images-exposure is ALL important, Get the exposure spot on and the images are great but if the exposure is slightly off and needs some adjustment in PP then grain really shows, Exposure to the right is ok but when i shoot at high (for me) ISO then i prefer to get it right in camera so in PP i just have to add some curves and sat and that's it, Plain backgrounds are not your friend with high ISO and will show grain more than say a forest background, In reality grain today from most modern digital cameras at ISO 800 is better than grain from film/slide at ISO 200/400 and with the D3/s you can up that figure to 1600 or more-remarkable,However with all the talk of cameras being able to shoot at huge ISO i think we need to remember that for Nature Photographers these ISO's are not really designed for our use, mainly for press and indoor sports guys, I would always recommend using the lowest ISO as possible for the very best image quality
Last night i did my first opossum shoot and will show these in my next blog


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