Caught the Commack gymnastics team in a meet with North Babylon on Wednesday. That’s always a lot of fun to photograph.
I shot this meet at ISO 10,000, f/2.8, 1/640 - 1/800 sec. Yup, our gym is pretty dark and gymnastics events are pretty fast, especially the vault and floor exercises. This high ISO setting creates more noise than I’d like but the alternative is photos with a lot of motion blur.
There are a number of ways to deal with noise. First, if you’re shooting JPEGs, which I’m not, you can use your in-camera noise reduction. This is your only option if you don’t post-process your photos but I have yet to see a camera that has noise reduction as good as almost any photo editing software. If you do post-process your photos I would suggest you shoot in RAW format. This will give you a lot more latitude for noise removal in post than a JPEG. I would also suggest you “expose to the right” in-camera, meaning that you should expose your images as brightly as possible without blowing out highlights. This helps cut down on noise a lot. Finally, try to fill the frame with your subject(s). The more you crop in post, the more the noise will be amplified.
If you’re looking for industrial strength noise reduction, there are a number of noise reduction plugins available for Photoshop and Lightroom, all of which are available for free trial periods. I’ve found that some work better on specific model cameras than others so it pays to try before you buy.
Try to get your photos as sharp as possible in-camera; sharpening in post sharpens noise as well as the photo so you want to minimize that. When using noise reduction in post don’t go crazy or your photos will look very soft and strange. Less is more, especially if your photos are destined for something like Instagram; no one will see the noise when viewing your photo on a smartphone.
That’s it for today. I’m way behind in post processing.