It’s Not You, D7000. It’s Me. But I’m Going to Change!

UCSB's Dean Melvin Oliver and PBS's Gwen Ifill. ISO 6400

UCSB’s Dean Melvin Oliver and PBS’s Gwen Ifill. ISO 6400

Last night I knew I would need ISO6400, which I’ve been avoiding for about a year. Gwen Ifill from PBS came to Santa Barbara and I was to photograph her at my office and at UCSB’s Campbell Hall, where she spoke as part of the Arts & Lectures program.

I was pleasantly reminded that an ISO6400 image still looks good if properly exposed, but it’s up to me to get the exposure right when I have to shoot in low light situations. The trick, in my opinion, is to err on the side of overexposing, because you can dial down some of the high-ISO noise when you darken the image in post-processing. I could be wrong, but it seemed to work.

Gwen Ifill signing books after her lecture. When shooting at my camera's highest ISO settings, I prefer to meter for the subject and let the shadows fall where they may.

Gwen Ifill signing books after her lecture. When shooting at my camera’s highest ISO settings, I prefer to meter for the subject and let the shadows fall where they may.

At the Orfalea Foundation offices, I was free to use flash, and when I'm free to provide light, I provide as much as I can. Here is Gwen with Paul Orfalea, Professor Mark Jurgensmeyer, and students from UCSB's Masters in Global and International Studies program.

At the Orfalea Foundation offices, I was free to use flash, and when I’m free to provide light, I provide as much as I can. Here is Gwen with Paul Orfalea, Professor Mark Jurgensmeyer, and students from UCSB’s Masters in Global and International Studies program.

A very challenging assignment to capture high school students interviewing Ms. Ifill in the green room after her talk. Those dressing room lights were the only lights, but the D7000 handled the backlit situation better than I expected. Glad I was shooting in RAW.

A very challenging assignment to capture high school students interviewing Ms. Ifill in the green room had me shooting into a mirror. Those dressing room lights were the only lights, but the D7000 handled the backlit situation better than I expected. Glad I was shooting in RAW.

On assignment at work, I don't ask for much and I don't ask often, but a student offered to take my picture with Ms. Ifill, so I set the camera to "drunk mode" and got a keepsake for myself.

On assignment at work, I don’t ask for much and I don’t ask often, but a student offered to take my picture with Ms. Ifill, so I set the camera to “drunk mode” and got a keepsake for myself.

I was really pleased to rediscover the joys of ISO 6400 on the D7000.  I just have to remember that the camera can deliver if I do MY job.  I also rediscovered the joys of my 70-200 f/2.8 for something other than bird photos, but that’s another blog post. It was also an absolute pleasure to spend time with Ms. Ifill, who is smart, funny, thoughtful, and insanely well-informed. Plus, it was a a rare joy to photograph someone who is accustomed to having cameras pointed at her every day and was therefore patient, tolerant, and pleasant throughout.

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Filed under Camera Gear, Camera Settings, Low Light, Post Processing

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