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Thursday, March 15, 2012


Dusk in the Woods, Columbia MO

The boys and I took a quick hike at Grindstone Nature Area.  The sun had already went down and it was getting cold, but I decided to take the high ridge trail out of the park anyway.  I was treated to this lovely view of the dusk sky along the trail.

This is a six exposure HDR.

Art brought up an interesting issue yesterday about high ISO, so I want to get your take.  WHAT DO YOU THINK?  HOW HIGH OF ISO ARE YOU COMFORTABLE USING?  WHEN ARE YOU WILLING TO USE HIGH ISO AND WHEN DO YOU REFUSE?

I have to say that I share Art's sentiments that with newer cameras and noise reduction software, the benefits of high ISO can often outweigh the tradeoffs.  My personal take is that sharpness is the most important issue.  Sometimes you simply must get to a faster shutter speed if you want a sharp image, and that may require using a high ISO.  In these cases I'd rather degrade my image with high ISO noise than by losing sharpness due to camera shake.  Other times, when shutter speed is not an issue, as it rarely is when using a tripod, I prefer to use long exposure rather than high ISO.  When in doubt, opt for the higher ISO, as you can always reduce the noise in post processing, but you can never fix blurriness caused by camera shake with a slow shutter.

All of that being said, I can notice a noise increase in my photos between ISO 100 and ISO 160, but I'm usually comfortable using up to ISO 640 without thinking twice.  Above 640 I start to long for my tripod.

Photo taken Feb 16, 2012

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