Why The Fear Around Shooting At High ISO?
I’m sure it’s not just me who thinks shooting at high ISO is actually okay, it’s definitely not a felony. In fact, I was of the many people who thought digital noise would just kill my photographs and deem them…useless?
It’s arguably one of the most feared aspects of shooting photography in general – because there are always those who will say/dictate that a very (or slightly) grainy image is basically unusable.
Let’s put a case forward to say, nope, we disagree. Often, some textured grain can really add some emotion or nostalgia to an image – to give it a sense of “now”, “this moment in time” – a moment “captured” and not missed.
Some guides for a little background reading on ISO….
Getting Started With ISO: A Beginner’s GuideHow to Choose the Correct ISO Setting for Your ShotImage by André Hofmeister – ISO 1600 – Nikon D7000 – ƒ/2.0 – 50.0 mm – 1/40sec
Shooting At High ISO Should Be Embraced
Personally, if you’re afraid (I’m not talking “pee your pants” afraid here) of bumping up the ISO on your digital camera, don’t be. My standpoint is that getting an image that’s not out of focus due to too low a shutter speed for your hands means you’ve got yourself a usable photo. It’s other people’s opinions that will alter things for you.
Not too long ago, raising your camera’s ISO to 1600, 3200 or at a stretch 6400 was like image suicide. You were left with an image totally obscured by digital noise aka grain, which unless it was meant to be artistic or a clever piece of well-timed street photography, it wasn’t much use to anyone.
We’ve moved on a little now. Technology has improved, sensors are becoming more capable (particularly crop sensors) and we’re about to get images we can be pleased with, avoiding any anxiety around shooting at high ISO.
Image by Daniel Lee – ISO 800 – Canon EOS 6D – ƒ/2.8 – 50.0 mm – 1/400sec
Shouldn’t We As Photographers Be Aiming For The LOWEST ISO Possible?
Are you shooting street photography or a birthday party, or are you shooting a portrait session in a studio? I ask because it really does depend on what you’re photographing. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive the sensor is to light hitting it during an exposur