High ISO – Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark

High ISO – Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

When there is good light, whatever the level, don’t be in too much of a hurry to switch on a flash…

It is interesting the number of people I talk to on workshops who are very keen to keep away from high ISO. Not a bad thing when total quality is the aim of the picture. However, there are times, particularly in street work and moving subjects, when your shooting hand-held and in low light conditions, and the ambient lighting is fantastic.

When this happens welcome the fact that high ISO’s will get the picture. High ISO is your camera for a reason and it is better to shoot a high ISO image than a low one with camera shake!

Below: The first shot at night in very low lighting conditions. The subject was moving, and the camera was handheld. To prevent camera shake, a very low aperture number was set and an ISO of 25,600.
Flash would have taken away the feel of the ambient lighting and how the highlights caught different parts of the subject matter.

high ISO
ISO 25600

More Higher ISO:

ISO 2500
ISO 1600
ISO 3200
ISO 1250
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
ISO 3200
ISO 12800

Why go high ISO?

High ISO – High numbers (e.g. ISO 3200) are more sensitive to light and used when light levels are low and/or you have no tripod available to prevent camera shake. Also, if you need higher shutter speed values for faster subjects, increasing the ISO will help to achieve this.

High numbers
Provide lower quality – coarse grain (digital noise).
– Offer faster shutter speeds to reduce camera shake or shoot fast subjects in poor light.
– Allow low light photography without supplementary lighting or a tripod.
– Provide lower quality – coarse grain (digital noise).
– Offer faster shutter speeds to reduce camera shake or shoot fast subjects in poor light.

(Above from the Light Academy Companion Guide ‘Manual Exposure’)

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Light Academy Companion Guides on Amazon

So… spend more time looking at great low lighting and less time worrying about low ISO. Get the shot and get it sharp (if it needs to be sharp:)

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