A quick question concerning ISO with night/live photography

Niz

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Hey Guys,

My name is Ben, im pretty new to the world of photography and im trying to get a grasp on ISO, i have a quick but probably very basic question regarding ISO in low light photos

I have been seeing alot of night photography that has been taken with a ISO of 100-200 and alot of live music photography that has been taken anywhere from 800-1600 ISO, can somebody tell me why live music photography isn't in 100-200 ISO or night photography isnt in 800 ISO?
I know that the higher the ISO the more grain but is that what event/music photographers want or is it that there is just not enough light that they are force to use 1600 ISO??

Thanks Ben
 

Eclivic

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Night shots always have dark Backgrounds so your going to have no separation. Music photography has a stronger Foreground and usually something close. So when you fill the frame with more Brighter Foreground you have less noise to see.
 

480sparky

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As with all things in life, exposure ISO is a compromise. It's usually low-light situations that require a higher ISO just so the shutter speed and aperture can be maintained at a certain point to obtain a 'correct' exposure. The aperture of the lens may be at or near it's maximum, and any slower of a shutter speed would create blur.

There is no one single, magic ISO for any given subject such as stage productions since the light levels can vary widely between venues. One stage may be well-lit enough to use ISO 400, while the next is so poorly lit 1600 or even 3200 is required to keep the shutter speed fast enough to 'get the shot'.
 

LittleMike

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I'm assuming that by "night photography" you are referring to scenic/star trail pictures. Those types of images are captured while the camera is on a tripod, and the subject is not moving (except for the stars lol). You will generally want to use the lowest ISO possible in order to get the least amount of noise. This will result in a longer exposure (anywhere from 30 seconds to an hour+), but since the subject isn't moving it isn't an issue.

While photographing live music, your subject isn't going to hold still for an hour while you are taking your picture, and thus a higher ISO is required. It is not that event/music photographers want added noise, it's simply that they aren't shooting a static subject.
 

480sparky

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......... Those types of images are captured while the camera is on a tripod, and the subject is not moving (except for the stars lol). ..........

Technically, the stars really aren't what's moving. You, the camera and the tripod are.
 

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LittleMike

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Last edited:
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Niz

Niz

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Thanks guys, all makes sense. I should of took into account the long exp/tripod factor of many night photos i see in magazines.

Im thinking i might try use a monopod on my next live music shoot so i can slow the shutter speed down to 1/60 and try using lower than 800 ISO so i get minimal grain.

Ben.
 

enzodm

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Im thinking i might try use a monopod on my next live music shoot so i can slow the shutter speed down to 1/60 and try using lower than 800 ISO so i get minimal grain.

Ben.

consider that normally people move, so you cannot lower shutter speed too much. Tripod, or also stabilization on the lens (which you have to switch off when on tripod) help with your movements only, not those of the scene.
 

ndwgolf

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All taken hand held with 6400 ISO;
Sample
siemreapdancinggirls230.jpg

Link
http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/people-photography/256459-cambodian-traditional-dancing.html
 
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Niz

Niz

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@ Enzodm

Yeah thats true, im probably best just to aim for around 800 ISO @ 1/125 second and just go from there depending on lighting ect.
 

enzodm

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Read also about "exposing to the right". In case of low light, from the noise point of view it could be better to have higher ISO and higher luminosity than adjusting in PP a lower ISO dark picture (noise is more evident in dark areas).

These are done at 1600ISO with a Canon 1000D:



 

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