First Thoughts after an Open-Ended Assignment

I was lucky that my kids’ sport club had a fund-raising night at the end of this year. I had a fantastic chance to practise in taking pictures for an open-ended assignment.

I created a basic workflow almost immediately after I’d been asked to take some pictures at the event, then I followed my workflow adjusting my steps when it was necessary. It was a very useful experience even if I ended up only with a handful of good  (in terms of quality and composition) pictures out of 770 pictures I took on the night.

It was the first time when I took pictures at this type of event in the evening.  I did some test pictures a few weekends before the event and I came to a conclusion that I would need  a fast zoom lens with a wide angle. My best lens (EF 24-105mm) was not wide enough for the Dojang. Also, my f/4 was not fast enough. My other option was my EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8. I’ve only got that my lens, so I was not sure how it would cope at the high ISO. I had a feeling that ISO 800 could be the highest ISO that would be possible for it. I thought about a possibility to use my flash, but it would not be possible to bounce its light from the wall or ceiling. Also, there was no chance to use my flashgun for two hours.

During the evening, I kept my eye on the shutter speed with the lens’s IS on. I saw anything between in between 1/40s and 1/400s. Probably, I should’ve tried raising ISO a bit, but I was too concerned about pictures’ quality.

20131222-TKD-160605-5991The other difficulty I came across was to compose pictures with a good background. A lot of my pictures were spoiled by something (bags or posters) or someone in the background. It was an interesting experience, but I think I was a bit out of my depth.

I know that a lot of professional sport and wedding photographers take pictures at high ISO settings and then print their pictures at a reasonable size. I’ve heard about ISO settings higher than 800. Now I need to learn how to deal with high ISO in camera or post production. It doesn’t look as if I can reduce it effectively in Lightroom.

As usual, Google is a good helper. My first quick search lead me to an article on the website of “Amateur Photographer” where was a comparison of several application for noise reduction. There were two apps that score top marks, so now I need to decide which one I should get.

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