Exposing to minimize noise (when using high ISO)

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by jaomul, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Messages:
    5,715
    Likes Received:
    1,551
    Location:
    Cork Ireland
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    If I am in a situation where my only option to get a shot is at extremely high ISO it obviously would be nice to keep the noise as low as possible. Reading a few posts here I think it seems better to slightly overexpose the shot and bring it back in post. Is this correct, and if so what level is a ballpark recommended overexpose level? Thanks


     
  2. unpopular

    unpopular Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    9,471
    Likes Received:
    1,994
    Location:
    Montana
    There are a few different philosophies here, and I think both are valid, it just depends on approach.

    I personally believe that this is the best approach at high ISO or otherwise, the problem becomes what is the best method to compensate the shadows. The way I expose is to meter the brightest region in the scene and then increase exposure to the outer limits of the camera's latitude without clipping, I then allow the shadows to fall wherever they will and compensate using a curve adjustment.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. SCraig

    SCraig Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    Messages:
    6,474
    Likes Received:
    2,443
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    That is the Expose To The Right philosophy and by what I have read it makes sense and seems to work quite well. Read This Article.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. analog.universe

    analog.universe TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,923
    Likes Received:
    330
    Location:
    Vermont
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Yeah, I usually just expose so the valuable highlights are just short of clipping. (meaning some areas I will actually let blow depending on the situation, background elements, whatever). Then mess with the curves when I do the RAW conversion to pull the shadows (and the noise) back down.
     
  5. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    3,032
    Likes Received:
    167
    Location:
    San Diego, CA (RB)
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    How are you going to expose to the right if you're already raising your ISO pretty high?If you are going to raise the ISO like that then we can assume you have reached your handheld shutter speed and aperture limit. Are you going to just max out ISO to "expose to the right"? If so, I find that counter productive.
     
  6. SCraig

    SCraig Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    Messages:
    6,474
    Likes Received:
    2,443
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Read the article I linked to in post #3. It isn't very long and it will answer that question for you much better than I could in a couple of paragraphs. It really is worth the read.
     
  7. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    Michigan (Detroit Metro)
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I've been researching this pretty heavy over the last couple of weeks trying to figure out how to improve my indoor sports shots. That article is about the most succinct and helpful thing I've found so far. Thanks for the pointer!

    To follow up and flesh this out: I'm shooting with a Nikon D7000 and a Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 (non OS version). Up until now, I've been shooting in shutter priority mode with ISO fixed at 3200. I've also been leaving Active D Lighting (ADL) set to Auto. AF-C with spot focus. Matrix metering. No exposure compensation.

    My shots are always under exposed by at least a full stop, and raising the exposure in LR3 yields horrible results. Very excessive noise and very flat looking images. From my reading, it looks like ADL is partly to blame.

    This weekend, I'm planning to make the following changes: Shoot in program auto mode with shutter speed and f/stop both forced. ADL off. Auto ISO on and capped at 12,800. Exposure compensation +0.7. Center weighted metering. AF-C and 21 point dynamic area focusing.

    Any comments/criticisms of my thinking here?


    WhiskeyTango
     
  8. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    3,032
    Likes Received:
    167
    Location:
    San Diego, CA (RB)
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Yeah I understand what it's about, I just don't agree with using Super high ISO to expose to the right.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. MLeeK

    MLeeK TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Messages:
    6,761
    Likes Received:
    1,379
    Location:
    NY
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    You will have much better results this weekend. If you are in controlled lighting-arena where nothing changes it's actually much easier to shoot in manual. You set your shutter to what your minimum is, set your aperture to your desired (mine is f/4 on the Sigma) and then raise your ISO to the point just before your highlights would blow. If you are shooting white jerseys or similar remember that the highlight warnings are warning you that you are blowing at least one color channel. If you are still able to see the folds around the highlight warning you are probably exposed well.
    Your lighting is never going to change in a controlled situation. If you use manual you have no changes in exposure to sort through in post because your spot hit something dark or light.

    You never want to shoot with more than one focus point. When you do that the camera gets to choose where your focus falls-any one of those points. If you are using one focus point you are in control. For different sports I use different focus points because of how the players naturally fall in the image.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    Michigan (Detroit Metro)
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    That's a great idea. The games I'm interested in are Sunday, but I think I'll sneak in there on Saturday and play around a bit... :)
     
  11. MLeeK

    MLeeK TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Messages:
    6,761
    Likes Received:
    1,379
    Location:
    NY
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I added a note up there on your focus points too!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    Michigan (Detroit Metro)
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit


    Yeah, I'm torn on the focus points. I've been using single point, and am getting better at getting it where I want. I stumbled across several recommendations, though, for the 21 point dynamic area mode. One of them came from a pro-site.

    In addition to the light problem, I'm having issues trying to shoot through a net. (It's either that or shoot through glass). With single point, I occasionally get jumping from my intended target back to the net. Not sure if the dynamic area mode will do any better or not.

    I think I'll do some playing with both modes on Saturday and see what I get.
     

Share This Page