High ISOs again

As for what I said the other day about high ISO values, here’s a reminder. It is better to get a grainy picture than to get no picture.

Case in point. Here’s Jamaica’s Luminous Lagoon last year, with swimmers :

That was taken from a moving boat at:

  • 12800 ISO
  • f/2.8
  • 16mm lens (on a full frame camera)
  • 1/4 second

Yes, yes, 12,800 ISO. And yes, one quarter second on a moving boat. So it took a few attempts. Note that I used the 16mm lens to get as wide as possible: the longer your lens, the faster the shutter speed needs to be for a motion-free picture. So the wider, the better for slow shutter speeds.

But the moral of the story: even when it is pitch dark, you can often get better pictures than you thought. Always try, and do not be afraid of high ISO values if that is the only way to get the picture.


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