Here’s a snap of my friend and student Ray, taken Saturday night:
As you can see, he is backlit – and I used whatever light was available.
This means that to avoid the usual “silhouette”, I needed to expose very long – 1/25th sec at f/2.8, using 6400 ISO; using the 24-70 lens set to 25mm, which on a 1D is 25 x 1.3 = a “real” 33mm. (See how nice the “real” 35mm is? That’s why some cameras, like my Fuji X100, have fixed lenses of that focal length).
So – 6400 ISO? Is that doable?
Sure. Of course if we were to zoom in all the way we would see grain, but this image is pretty OK – especially after a little noise cancellation in Lightroom.
The moral: do not be afraid to go to high ISO values when needed. It’s better than not getting the shot.