A Low Light Thanksgiving

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by kevinparis, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Its often asked here how do you shoot in low light? …. well as I was shooting a thanksgiving dinner the other night, using an OMD along with the Pana 25/1.4 and my new Oly 75/1.8, I thought I would share a few pictures and a few thoughts and comments.

    basic set up was ISO 6400 or 8000, Aperture priority, centre weighted metering… and face detect switched on. Half press on shutter to get focus and then shoot. I shot RAW as always… and PP was done in Aperture. I converted to B/W partly because I like it and also due to the fact that the WB in such mixed lighting is a nightmare, plus B/W noise is much more acceptable than colour noise.

    The lighting was pretty variable, and the light that was there was pretty unflattering.. though the kitchen was brighter.

    I took about 200 shots on the night, of which about 70 made the final select. True , none of them are 'tack sharp', and detail is lost in the noise,but as a record of the event, and for sharing amongst the family I think they work pretty well.

    there is a set of 8 shots here

    thanksgiving 2012 - a set on Flickr

    and here are a couple of examples

    PB230102 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    PB230119 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    comments welcome as always

    • Like Like x 10
  2. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    Real Name:
    Kevin, I would never have tried 6400 before seeing these shots, but now...

    Excellent. I like the 'feel', and the unforced poses.

    Best from an uncantankerous Scot ...
  3. Vincen77o

    Vincen77o Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 3, 2012
    St. Albans, Herts
    It goes to prove that 'tack sharp' isn't always the priority. Looking at the film shots on this forum, very few are sharp, it's the content that matters. Good stuff Kev.
  4. rhoydotp

    rhoydotp Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 5, 2012
    Toronto, Ont
    Real Name:
    Beautiful work. I do wonder how much of the ones that didn't make the cut would have been a keeper or maybe simething you would have love to have back
  5. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    thanks for the kind words

    the ones that didn't make the cut were badly missed focus, duplicate shots or unflattering facial expressions... the subjects all know me well.... they are my GF's family, and are used to me clicking away..... nice thing was I had the 75mm this time which meant I could get a little more distance.

    On the 75... just got it the day before from Samys in LA. Not a cheap lens , but from what I have seen so far its pretty damn stunning.

    these two shots were from earlier in the afternoon when there was a little more natural light in the kitchen.... ISO 3200, uncropped from about 5 feet from the subject

    PB220030 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    PB220028 by kevinparis, on Flickr


  6. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    Very, very nice! :2thumbs:
  7. IcemanYVR

    IcemanYVR Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 16, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    Real Name:
    Very nice... impressive high ISO. What were your noise reduction settings in camera? What do you use for NR in Aperture.
  8. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    I shoot RAW... so no in camera NR. Dont apply NR in Aperture either

    basic recipe was crop, auto enhance, convert to monochrome, perhaps a heavy dose of recovery, occasional tweak of exposure, very occasional moving of black point , and almost always midtone contrast of 20-30.

    thats it.... going to monochrome hides a multitude of sins :)

  9. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Real Name:
    Nice shots! It's incredible that they are shot at such high ISO!