Friday 28 November 2008

Wedding Photographer Kent - High ISOs

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I had some great questions from a reader yesterday:

Hi David,

I'm intrigued by your use of high ISOs in a lot of the photos on your weddings page. I have an intense dislike of flash (I don't actually own one, I much rather use primes with small apertures) , but am shooting several weddings for the first time this summer. Several of your shots are even 3200 ISO, which presumably means very high noise on prints. Do you use a noise reduction program when you post-process? And is there a particular reason you shoot up to 3200 ISO, as I have had several people claiming I shouldn't really shoot over 800 when I do the weddings in the summer?

Thanks for your great blog by the way.



Hi Charlie,

Light levels tend to be very low at wedding receptions. I set the ISO at a level that will allow me to shoot at a range of apertures and keep the shutter speed at around 1/100s (people tend to be quite animated at weddings!) - this ISO level changes as I move from room to room. If I shoot extremely wide for a few shots (I use the 35mm f/1.4 L and 85mm f/1.2 L primes a lot) I could drop the ISO for these but I tend to keep it constant for the sake of speed.

I shoot RAW, process in Lightroom and use NeatImage (incredible program) to clean up digital noise. I can print these shots at A3 and above - they look great.

95% of my shots use flash - check out the catchlights in people's eyes. I absolutely LOVE flash (provided it's done well!). It adds another dimension to photography. It is difficult to master though - you need to juggle two exposures at the same time, get to grips with flash gels to alter the colour temperature of the light etc. But it's well worth it.

It's all about the quality of the light. You might be able to expose correctly for ambient light with wide apertures but if the quality of light is poor there's little point. Once you master flash you ALWAYS have good light with you - absolutely liberating.



Check out more of my photography here: wedding photographer in Kent

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