I’ve learned to stay away from anything above ISO 400 at all costs over the past by all means because of mainly the noise. Shooting with a DSLR, getting better lens, and all other supporting equipment usually does 2 things: 1) get a sharper shot, 2) get a cleaning shot with better optical quality; Using ISO 800 or 1600 with the D50 is guaranteed to produce an visible noise, and often times sacrifice a lot of quality.
A while ago, I found myself completely lost when I reviewed my precious shots. I felt that I was paying too much attention to get the shots “right”, and slowly I completely forgot the reasons behind shooting. I came to conclusion that photography isn’t always about producing that picture perfect poster image. Photography can be a lot of different things, meaning it may be a medium for an artist to express a message; it may be a medium for the scientific mind to capture what our eyes could not see; it may be a visual record for a journalist to share with others what they witnessed, etc. I stuck my head simply too deep into trying to figure out how to better use the camera equipment, but completely ignored all the other elements. The most important of all, afterall it’s all about framing an image into a frame of your choice, the photographer has the freedom to design what’s in the frame, how it’s framed. Light, color, contrast, brightness, different effects, treatment, these are simply different elements a photographer can control in order to achieve the goal, and that shouldn’t be using the equipment, but rather getting that picture that the photographer has in mind that he wanted to paint of what he sees.
Sure using ISO 1600 you wouldn’t be able to get that perfectly sharp picture, but heck taking pictures isn’t always just about getting it sharp, getting it crisp! You can still capture the mood, the atmosphere, the moment, sometimes way better than a clean picture! :) The picture shown here was taken in restaurant at the dining table, it’s a dimly lit place and the flash would have completely destroyed the mood. Sure there’s noise, and sure it’s not the perfectly clean, visually stunning picture, but you can’t complain about the smile, the action, and the atmosphere that’s completely intact in the picture. ;)
I’m losing myself again mostly because it’s 2am… and I think I’ve already lost most of you… I’m sure I’ll come across another crossroad again, and I’ll be back writing about this again. :)