High ISO as an effect - example photos...

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by steve_r.|2, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. I've been asked to present at my Digital Photography class this weekend on ISO and one of things I'm looking for is examples of photos where the photographer has used high ISO intentionally to create a grainy effect. Can anyone share any examples? I've searched the net, but I'm not coming up with anything good.
  2. Hmmmm, it does make sense but I've never intentionally done it as it can easily been done in Photoshop after the fact.
    I've shot high ISO but only to get a high enough shutter speed for what I needed at the time.
  3. Here is a trick I use. Convert to black & white and then add "Film Grain" if you have access to that filter. It hides or mask the ugly color noise and makes the photo appear like grainy high speed film - sometimes.
  4. Hmmm... We don`t know so much about high ISO grainy images, check what the D700 gives at 25600ISO... ^^

    (D700 @ 25600 ISO + 35/1.4 AiS, 1/60 - f4, lighter illumination)
  5. Steve, since it's for a class, and presumably you have access to a digital camera, why not take a few pictures and use your own work as examples?
  6. Jose - showoff...
  7. Michael, what Jose is showing here is the the problem. Even with my D300s, I've having a hard time getting grainy images at 6400. My instructor asked me to show some examples of poor quality images at higher ISO, and frankly I'm not able to produce them. My only other camera is a Fuji X100 and it's even better at high ISO than my Nikon. I uess this is the trouble with advancements in technology!!
  8. Lightroom has a grain function under effects, with amount, size and roughness, maybe try that?
  9. Here's a first attempt I made some time ago: http://www.photo.net/photo/6526618
    Not just high-iso, but also accentuating the pixelized nature of the image.
    It isn't a very good composition, but I thought the effect was kind of neat; a little bit like pointillist paintings (ex. Georges Seurat's The Seine and la Grande Jatte).

  10. Steve, you can get grainy (noisy) images from just about any camera - it's all about Signal-to-Noise ratio. Take a picture under low light while severely underexposing it at the highest ISO (12800), then crank up the luminance gain under software.
  11. I shot this test picture of my little brother some time ago with my D7000 at ISO 25600. It has no added noise reduction, we can still see the effect.
    EDIT: It has Lightroom color noise correction, silly me.
  12. Take a picture under low light while severely underexposing it at the highest ISO (12800), then crank up the luminance gain under software.​
    I should have mentioned that's about exactly what I did.
    The underexposure is the key step.
    I also cropped out a very small section of the image, expanded it so the pixels were visible, and applied a strong unsharp-mask filter to accentuate the local contrast changes.
  13. what a completely counter-intuitive task. it's interesting that this isn't that easy to do with today's cameras unless you manipulate it after the fact. anyway, FWIW, here's the D3s @ ISO8000.
  14. For comparison with Eric's picture above, D70 @ ISO-1600 severely underexposed and endlessly post-processed to reduce noise.
  15. Thanks guys. This helps.
  16. Here's a D80 image at ISO 3200 noise reduction off.
  17. I have been using High-ISO effects coupled with historical soft-focus lenses to achieve a stylistic effect. I have an exhibit of seven large prints opening October 4, 6:30 pm in the Meany Hall Lower Lobby Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle. These will be on exhibit for the next 12 months:
    http://hemingway.cs.washington.edu/portfolio/#/content/029-Arboretum/1-Artist's Statement.jpg
    Many of those were shot above ISO 2000; several were at ISO 3200. The effect, printed large on fine-art paper is stunning.
    Bruce Hemingway
  18. Very nice portfolio, Bruce. I like that colourful Arboretum pics.
    Please excuse me, curiosity is killing me... Could I ask how do you use the D3 with the Imagon or the Pinkham? Via LF camera back, maybe?
  19. Thanks, Jose. I have two Imagons, and both were originally made for use on medium-format cameras. One, 120mm, was used on a Leica and had a t-mount, which made adapting it a matter of finding the right adapter. That is the lens I used for the Pictorialist Arboretum series.
    The other, 200mm, was made for Mamiya RB67, and needed a focusing helical. I now use it on a Linhof lensboard, and use the Nikon D3 on a CameraFusion sliding digital back. I have many large-format lenses that I can use that way.
    The Pinkham & Smith is mounted on a gutted 50mm Nikon lens, and mounts directly. There is a photo of it in the P&S lens gallery on my site.
  20. Stuart, a Distortion + !! Are you a guitar player? That's my other passion.
  21. Very interesting, Bruce. I have a few vintage lenses that I`d like to use on DSLRs... thanks!
  22. What this all demonstrates is that the digital technology -- regardless of where it is found (camera CCD or software) is a powerful creative tool that many may ignore. We are no longer confined to the very limited world of lenses, cameras, film and chemistry. The limitations today have more to do with the boundaries around your imagination.
  23. For those who are interested, here is a 100% crop from the image I showed above, showing the effect of the noise as a stylistic effect.
  24. Here is another crop that shows the "painterly" effect the noise gives in this image:
  25. If you're looking for a noisy effect, you're better off doing it in software than by increasing ISO IMO. Modern cameras do not give the kind of visibly grainy appearance by just increasing ISO ... well if you go to top ISO, then underexpose by 2 stops (and correct the exposure in post-processing) then you might get what you're looking for, but not just by shooting normally at the highest ISO.
  26. The D2X produces substantial grain when pushed over 400 ASA, especially when underexposed
    Here's some examples, where the grain despite the small size of the picture is very visible, in particular with the b/w conversions
    Problem that day was heavy fog, hence very little light, obviously hardly any contrast (kudos for the AF of the D2X!) and as you can see from the ' color ' pictures, all tricks had to be pulled out of the closet to get a somewhat acceptable picture. And of course, if everything fails, using the 'artistic' card always offers a good excuse to camouflage technical shortcomings (at least in my case).
    I must admit though that I still have a D1H (only 2,7 Megapixel!) in the back of the closet with which I want to do some high ISO heavy grain experiments with.
  27. It is not counter-intuitive, but counter-convention. The quality of the noise matters a lot with this. I'm going to have to drag out my old D1x and check the noise again at the highest ISOs. Some of my Fuji P&S's at 12,800 ISO and 3 MP are righteously noisy. No need to underexpose.
  28. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Here's one...
    Galaxxy Chamber
  29. Hi steve,an interesting task. here's my quick take. i would:-
    - set iso to hi 1
    - make sure in camera noise reduction is off
    - find a hign contrast scene
    - under expose 3 stops, maybe more
    - when importing to your computer, make sure you do not us noise reduction
    - in post processing increase exposure by 3 stops
    you should have significant noise in those shadows, in particular colour noise. if you use lightroom, you can remove just the colour noise, leaving the luminance noise grain. here's an example with all noise left in:-
  30. Noise from the Nikon D2H at 1600, converted to b&w, is somewhat reminiscent of Ilford Delta 3200 at 1600-3200 in Diafine or Rodinal. Delta 3200 has fluffy, soft "popcorn" grain.
    To get a similar effect from the D2H, I'll typically use only the green channel, tho' sometimes the red channel looks better (the blue is too noisy). Occasionally I'll use a channel mixer and carefully tweak the RGB and CMYK channels to get the desired tonal separation in the monochrome conversion.
    Getting a convincing effect that resembles film grain more than digital noise depends on subject tonality and other factors, including sharpening. The effect is better in midtones and shadows, less so in brighter areas where the D2H luminance noise looks more like digital noise than grain. Oversharpening tends to emphasize the digital noise look, so these conversions work best on photos than don't need additional sharpening.
  31. This is a really interesting thread. Too bad these threads get buried by new ones, and often get forgotten, and subsequently, get very few new contribuitions as time goes on.
  32. The high rez of digital camera's mine being 6MP tends to hide noise even when shooting at ISO 3200 which is my Pentax K100D's highest.
    Below is a 1/5th the size crop section of a CFL I shot under fluorescent light and cranked sharpening in ACR to 150 Amount (max) and 3 Radius (max). The sharpening is what brought out the grain look.

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