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April 06, 2011


7. Consider going black and white. We are a lot more tolerant for noise or grain, misfocus, excessive contrast and motion blur with black and white than with color. Some people go as far as to intentionally add grain, contrast and blur into their BW shots. Oh, and monochrome shots have no white balance problems.

camera may produce great ISO 1600 images when you shoot raw but look horrible if you shoot JPEGs

One amusing twist in that: I covered the installation of a new rector at church - lots of indoor work with some set scenes I had to include - with a Nikon D200 and processed the results in Photoshop CS. Days were when PS/CS didn't have any noise-reduction of its own, so I got better results starting off with JPEGs made with automatic in-camera NR.

Janne: Oh, and monochrome shots have no white balance problems.

Not when they've already been made by someone else, perhaps.

The rest of us actually making them sweat blood & tears over issues of white-balance and colour filters to apply and then when we've finished applying "selenium" toning we have to cope with metamerism shifting what should be dilute blue round to chlorine-green when the print's viewed in bad light!

With Lightroom 3 it felt almost like my camera had an extra stop of good low light performance, due to the revamped noise reduction tool. It's as good as, if not better than, Nik DFine. It's easy to go overboard with the noise slider, but when it does work (and that is MOST of the time) the results are very, very good indeed. But when all else fails, I go black and white as Janne mentioned above.

Actually, I think you right now: thanks! I love shooting indoors/at night without flash. I appreciate the advice.

Since I rarely have a tripod with me when I could use one, I often use my self timer in low light situations. With the timer I can generally get away with a bit slower shutter speed since I'm not pressing the shutter at the moment of exposure. The technique obviously works best on stationary subjects.

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