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Because I can...

By dudler
Meet Gia, newest of the models I've photographed.

Clearly uninhibited and obliging: I plan that she will return from time to time. I hope she doesn't constitute a necessarily 'adult' image shot from this angle and in this light!

However, the point of the post is grain (or noise, if you prefer). Is it acceptable? It seemed to be yesterday, with my shot of hang gliders on a very rough film. This is comparable, but the ISO setting is a bit higher. As it goes, I like a good bit of grain, but you really have to work to get it these days! This is 101,900 ISO faster than the film was... Check the EXIF...

Hence the title: just to prove a point. This is what modern cameras can do - and by the way, it was well worth visiting the NEC today. The camera was a lot cheaper than it's been anywhere else so far, and it's delightful.

The variant was a candid on the bus.

Tags: Close-up and macro Desktop High iso Natural light Figurine

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dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1849 England
22 Mar 2016 6:39PM

The ISO seems to have confused the EPZ EXIF section. Download and check in your editing software, if you can be bothered...
22 Mar 2016 7:00PM
daft ? what is that silver thing in front. wish they would have something like the NEC photo event over here.
JuBarney Plus
9 33 5 United Kingdom
22 Mar 2016 7:00PM
Is she a sculpture (that can change shape, like on the bus)
as she seems to have a strange rear end!? - but lovely.
Interesting shots.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1849 England
22 Mar 2016 10:00PM
The silver thing is a dead button cell, from my flash trigger sender unit.

Yes, shes' a cheap sculpture.

The rear end, like so much else about Gia is intentionally (I assume...) lewd. I believe the term is 'booty' - but I may be wrong.
22 Mar 2016 10:28PM
When one has to wax lyrical about ones image then the image fails. If one has to upsell verbally what is essentially a visual platform ones image has failed. As in this case. Not the most diplomatic comment but my view
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1849 England
22 Mar 2016 11:07PM
Actually, I was seeking views about grain. I know the image is very unspecial, and was simply making a point about one, limited, technical aspect (on which there have been no comments so far.)

Did I 'upsell' the picture? I really hope not, for reasons of language as much as anythign else.
miptog 15 3.6k 65 United Kingdom
23 Mar 2016 8:51AM
In both of these, personally, I find the grain/noise acceptable, and feel that is adds to the image. In general my rule of thumb is that if it adds to the image that it is acceptable. I find that there is a difference between grain (on film) and noise (dslr), as they have different feels. I have also found that the effect differs between screen and print. Both of the these images are in B&W, which seems to accommodate grain/noise far better than colour. It would be interesting to hear what others think.
Otinkyad 18 2 7 United Kingdom
23 Mar 2016 9:11AM
To be honest my view is that grain was a shortcoming with film photography at its limits. Digital imaging gives you more scope to avoid the related shortcoming of noise,. If you feel that some texture would aesthetically enhance an image then why limit yourself to copying a technical shortcoming of an earlier technology?

I'm afraid that the whole grain thing passes me by - for example as in grain = "gritty reality"

dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1849 England
23 Mar 2016 9:58AM
Interesting points from both miptog and Otinkyad.

Yes, definitely, grain looks better, usually, in monochrome. And in the wrong picture, it has a very negative impact.

Why go with a 'defect' rather than make it perfect and then add effects later, when you can control them precisely? Because it is much faster, and there is a beauty in the economy of such a workflow (if I may borrow the term). And it works: why change what does the job perfectly well? (I acknolwedge that digital allows total control of just about everything: I'm not sure life is long enough for that, though...)

And finally, for now - a more considered response to fatfrankfoley. First off, he's absolutely right. If you need to talk up a picture so that people understand what a great tog you are, you are a deluded egotist, with a failed picture.

I don't think I was doing that. What I think I was doing is saying 'I have a new toy. It does soem amazing things that I have never been able to achieve before! This may change the whole game a bit.'

It woudl also be fair to suggest that the reflection from the battery in front of Gia shows up rather in the histogram, and that led me to distort the whole tonality, and the picture is rather dark. I'm about to upload a mod that addresses this...
salopian 9 3 28 United Kingdom
23 Mar 2016 11:11AM
My word John, you have caused a fluttering in the dovecote! Smile But that is part of the charm of the critique gallery I think.
I find it an interesting post because it explores an area I am not familiar with - the creation of noise/grain to achieve a particular effect and I shall be firing up the X20 and try some high and low ISO shots to compare the results
My only "critique" would be to say the sculptor put the arms on the wrong way round Grin
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1849 England
23 Mar 2016 4:00PM
Geoff -

I think Gia is a very limber lady...

I'll send you a message about noise as well.

If the X-20 is anything like my X-10 (and I know that Fuji have worked hard on development, so that the 20 is better than the 10, and the 30 is actually the camera I'd like to have bought in the first place), the higher ISO settings are only available as JPG-only files. Also, they rapidly become unusable - massive image break-up at the highest setting of 12,800 ISO.

Part of what I was getting at in this post is that this is a grainy-but-totally-usable image at a stratospheric speed. You'd be happy with this much grain from 12,800 ISO and a specialist camera (as the original Sony 7s was). But this isn't from a speed-merchant special. This is from a body with 42 megapixels and a stunning dynamic range: the new Canon EOS 5DsR goes to only 12,800 (only!) and falls short on the dynamic range by a stop and a half.
JuBarney Plus
9 33 5 United Kingdom
23 Mar 2016 5:12PM
I don't think you were upselling this image!; just explaining a bit.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1849 England
24 Mar 2016 10:07AM
Thanks, Ju!
TanyaH Plus
18 1.3k 411 United Kingdom
24 Mar 2016 3:05PM
No, you didn't upsell and no, you didn't wax lyrical (that's usually my forte ...). You tried to get a discussion going, in the critique section of the site, with an image to illustrate the point you were trying to expand on. (Though personally, I'd clone that battery out - doesn't contribute anything to the context ... Wink)

I have an ongoing love affair with grain ... I love it, because it can add a massive amount of atmosphere to an image, most commonly on a mono image. But I hate the damned stuff at the same time, because I can never get it to look right. Then I get frustrated because I've made a sharp image look unsharp ... then I get all apathetic and think I'm a rubbish photographer ... Grin I always prefer other people's images where they've used grain to their creative advantage.

I'm not entirely sure whether added digital noise has quite the same intrinsic quality as old film grain ... it's good, but just misses something. Perhaps because it's computer-generated grain, designed maybe for a particular purpose, and based on a sensor's ability to interpret what it thinks you want. Whereas film was wonderfully unpredictable in that respect ... store it wrong, and you got colour shifts. Leave it too long so it's massively out of date (like years out of date - I've got a couple of those somewhere) and you get other weirdness.

And yes, Gaia (that's how I've always spelt it anyway) has an arse that you could park a bike in - that's the whole point. Voluptuous, I think, is the term ...

kaybee Plus
17 7.7k 26 Scotland
25 Mar 2016 6:56AM
Somewhere to park your bike.

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