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No Grain – No Gain

Almost 3 years after my first post in this photography related blog, i think it is time to talk about photography. Lately we all enjoy the benefits of the digital revolution but we also struggle to keep up with the challenges this has to offer. Every week i am reading about some new groundbreaking  feature of the new Nikon – Cannon – Panasonic or what else is out there, widening our perspective in photography and the quality of our images. All this is very nice but usually comes with some heavy price tag. Over the last years we were offered two very important features encapsulated in the newest DSLR cameras. High ISO performance and FULL HD video. The hunt to eliminate grain – noise in our images became the number one goal for new photographers like myself. I used to work with a Nikon D90 for 2 years, mostly shooting weddings and concerts. I had a very difficult time in low light situations, since this camera was terrible at 2000 ISO and higher. Most often i would reduce depth of field in order to get as much light as possible through the lens. About a year ago i bought the D800. As you may know this camera is absolutely fantastic in low light situations and also has quite a few other groundbreaking features. This made my life as a photographer much easier but also introduced me to another point of view regarding depth of field. I can now use f 7.1 inside a dim room and get the results i want and some others i had never seen so far. Looking back at my D9o photos i discovered that they all were pretty “shallow” and only depicting sharply the main object / subject of my frame. This led to a portfolio filled with f 2.8 photos giving very little attention to the background. I could push my ISO settings with the D90 but i did not for the shake of grainless photos. I am now wondering wether i acted right or not. Is level of grain in my photo more important than the scene i am trying to capture or should i give more attention to the composition and just ignore grain. Is this hunt of grain important enough and is it ever going to end ?

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