Exposure part 2

Posted by on December 10, 2012 in Tutorials | 0 comments

Exposure part 2: This time we are going to focus on noise and high ISO shooting. Our human eyes are fantastic and can perceive details in pretty low light adjusting automatically  (of course nothing like a cat or an owls’s). The camera however will need help. Shooting in little or almost no light is quite a challenge for most cameras (except perhaps for the Canon 1Dx, or Nikon D4, which are ridiculously good). What ever camera you have you have to pay really close attention to exposure (read Exposure part 1 if you want a better understanding of exposure in general). That is  because when you are shooting at high ISO (1600 and above) noise become an issue. Some older cameras may produce quite a lot of noise at ISO 800 so this applies to them also. Exposure is also connected to noise and a correctly exposed picture will show the least amount of noise for that particular ISO setting. So how can we ensure that we get the right exposure. Well, this has been debated all over the internet and many, including me, advocates the method of exposing to the right (overexposing) when shooting at high ISO. I don’t do this because I believe that it will reduce noise, I do  this because I like to have a margin for error. An underexposed picture at high ISO is almost impossible to recover without increasing the amount of noise significantly. It’s much better to correct a +1/3 stop exposure in post process since it wont ad noise. So what are the drawbacks? Well, for one the shutter speed will decrease.

Eruasian Jay, Canon 1d Mark III, Canon 300 f/2.8 IS @ 420 mm, f/4, ISO 6400, 1/640.

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