Bringin’ da noise…

This photograph was taken on Saturday at my daughter’s dance recital. Needless to say the camera was my date to the show (along with my dad, wife, and baby). The 70-300mm and I became quite close as I positioned myself on the balcony level.

Except for the spot lights there was virtually no lighting to speak of. Naturally, I used my tripod in monopod configuration and turned on VR. 1/125 shutter was as slow as the VR would allow–they were dancing after all–before the motion blur became noticeable. And at this speed I still had to crank up the ISO to 800.

I can tell you that the D80 is really pushing its noise limits at 800. Below is a close-up of the RAW file. The exposure was increased to better illustrate the major noise problems I was dealing with. The bottom image is the original unedited RAW file. At the time of capture I felt that these images were simply going to be garbage but I continued firing because I’m a wonderful father ; ) . I wasn’t surprised when the entire shoot produced not a single presentable image. It took me about 45 minutes to get this one image to the above state. The multiple passes of noise reduction really washed out all of the detail. Luckily, the subject matter is perfectly suited to the fairy tale look that resulted.

It is late and I’m rambling. I might edit more of them if I have time.


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