Saturday, March 15, 2014

ISO doesn't always mean In Search Of....

There are really only three basic things that go into making a photograph.

1. Shutter speed.
2.  Lens opening.
3.  Sensitivity of the film.

Back in the "old days" when I started in photography - using film - that sensitivity factor was called ASA. Today, with digital, it's called ISO.

A film like Kodachrome 25 was less sensitive than say, Ektachrome 125.

Tri-X 400, a black & white mainstay during my newspaper days, was fast and could be "pushed" while developing up to about ASA 800.

That saved many a shot even though it was more rough and gritty than with a slower speed film. That was called "grain." Today, with digital, it's called "noise."

These photos of The Royal Tinfoil were taken at the Pour House a few night ago under impossible lighting conditions.

Well, not completely out of the question because I found a way to boost my digital camera's ISO from 800 to 6400. Yikes, quite a leap!

The results were very grainy/noisy until I smoothed things out a bit with a darkroom tool called Topaz DeNoise plug-in.

Shooting at other venues, I have taken very nice crisp shots of Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney with my camera set on ISO of 400. The difference is the amount and intensity of the stage lighting.

A bright white spotlight on the performer lets me snap away at 1/200th of a second which is sharp with very little blur. Last night, even at 1600 ISO, my shutter would have been a slow 1/25th of a second which does NOT stop action very well.

These shots would do OK printed on pulpy newspaper stock but are marginal online or in my blog.

I just feel good I got usable images and will continue to experiment.

(Click on the photos for some details.)

After I saw I had a few good action shots, I put away the camera and had another beer.

More experimenting.

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