Grainy pics


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May 18, 2013
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I took this pic trying to copy those photos youve seen with the girl sitting in the window and its soft and dark, but not quite a silhouette. I havent edited yet. See the graininess? Why is it doing this? Its like this in the Jpeg and Raws, but more so in the Raws. Ive played with aperture and shutter speed before and they turned out great. It had just rained so the sun wasnt too harsh, there werent any lights on in the room, just natural light. My sittings were ISO auto, aperture f6, shutter 1/100. I played around with it and put it at different settings to get just the right look, but every single one turned out grainy! I even took some outside with completely different settings and they were grainy too. I did it all in Manual mode and Aperture mode. I know if its under or over exposed it can be grainy, but i dont think its that because every single one I took today was grainy, inside and outside. What am I doing wrong?!
Thanks for you tips and advice!
What ISO did you shoot it at?

My guess is the reason you see it more in the raw file is your software hasn't applied any high-ISO noise reduction yet.
Give more info, cam+lens combo, and iso. I would have overexposed by 1 stop and then turn it down to avoid the grain or just use a flash. There are softwares you can use to reduce the grain, it would probably be alright for a small print.
I would set ISO to at the MOST 800 (depending on your cameras capabilities). Anything higher than that, you will notice an increase in noise (graininess). Then you can compensate with Fstops and shutter speed.
Give more info, cam+lens combo, and iso. I would have overexposed by 1 stop and then turn it down to avoid the grain or just use a flash. There are softwares you can use to reduce the grain, it would probably be alright for a small print.

I was using my Nikon D5000 with Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G. I had ISO set at 400 on this particular one but I was swapping between manual settings and auto ISO settings.
The dark, or under exposed parts of a digital image will pretty much always show some amount of image noise (not 'grain'), regardless the ISO used.
That is because of the way digital images work.
Digital Camera Image Noise: Concept and Types

Those were helpful, although some of it was over my head. lol I downloaded both Photo Ninja and Neat Image softwares. Ive been playing with them both and its making a huge difference. Thanks so much.
For future reference...when trying to get the shot I want, is there anything that will fix or lessen this noise issue? Theres got to be some way to get more crisp looking raws even with the low/high ISO? Is this an issue that everyone has when they do shots like this or is it just me?
Some times you have no choice but to raise the ISO. But always try to shoot with the lowest ISO possible. Learn to mitigate noise in post.
I disabled my auto ISO altogether in the menu options and it was one of the best decisions I've made. I know photographers who swear by it, but all it does for me is generate frustration. I ruined several good photos by allowing the camera to jack it up really high, so I just set it manually as my last exposure step. First aperture, then shutter, then ISO if I still can't achieve what I want. I use it sparingly to achieve higher shutter speeds. I almost never use it for light sensitivity. If my lighting is wrong I will try to figure something else out.
If you're seeing noise in the shadows, you should expose a bit more than you "want to" so the shadows won't be do dark in the camera that the sensor fills them up with noise. Then reduce exposure (make the whole picture more dark) in post processing.
Even ISO 400 can be noisy on intermediate cameras. RAW files are unprocessed files, which is why they often don't look pretty. Sharpening, contrast, color space and noise reduction are left for you to do in post when you shoot RAW. With JPEG, those settings are applied in camera at the time of capture, which is why JPEGs tend to look better, but they have almost zero latitude for development in post. A JPEG exported from a RAW file is not the same as a JPEG from camera. So I would say the cause of this noise is the ISO, and secondly not processing the RAW file.
+1 to issue being about Nailing the exposure.
Any underexposing and noise blooms like weeds in the darks.
Upping the iso to get usable handheld shutter speeds and proper exposure is a must.
If having to up beyond usable High Iso for a particular camera.
Then next is better faster glass or flash. Or better performing camera at higher iso.

As mentioned when in doubt expose darks a bit lighter exposure so are not lost in the shadows.
Noise is part of the package and must from time to time be dealt with in post with appropriate noise reduction tool.
Thanks for all your advice guys :) I have since taken several photography classes and finally understand what yall are saying. I know now how important and crucial post editing is to capture the look i want, as long as I can get a good raw to work with. Thanks for answering my questions!

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