Push­ing the Bound­aries, Did­cot, Ox­ford­shire

Amateur Photographer - - Our Favourite Images -

Michael Topham, Re­views editor

Sony A7R III, 24-70mm, 1/5sec at f/4, ISO 3200 The ef­fec­tive­ness of built-in 5-axis im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion, com­bined with the lu­di­crously im­pres­sive low-light per­for­mance of to­day’s imag­ing sen­sors, got me think­ing ear­lier this year. To achieve op­ti­mum im­age qual­ity of a static scene at night, many of us, my­self in­cluded, erect our tripods, plug in our cable re­leases and dial in long shut­ter speeds – all far from ideal when try­ing to work quickly.

Ar­riv­ing at Did­cot Rail­way Cen­tre for a low-light shoot, I de­cided to throw the rule­book out the win­dow. With my tri­pod left be­hind, I wanted to see if I could get ac­cept­able re­sults at night, hand­hold­ing only. While other pho­tog­ra­phers around me jos­tled with their tripods and took what felt like for­ever to get set-up, I was able to squeeze in around them, take a quick hand­held shot and move on. This im­age is one such ex­am­ple, taken at 1/5sec and ISO 3200. Dur­ing the shoot I also found my­self push­ing as high as ISO 12,800.

Back in front of the com­puter, I used DxO’s PRIME noise re­duc­tion and then Light­room to make a few ba­sic tweaks be­fore ex­port­ing my fi­nal set of im­ages. Hav­ing forced my­self to work this way once, I wouldn’t think twice about push­ing the sen­si­tiv­ity to the extreme and shoot­ing hand­held at night again. Com­pared with other pho­tog­ra­phers who at­tended the same event and used a tri­pod, I’m con­fi­dent I walked away with a more di­verse set of im­ages hav­ing had more time to move around and think more care­fully about com­po­si­tion.

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