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Days 241-242/365: Pushing Past the Boundaries

I brought my camera to work yesterday (day 241) because I was meeting a friend after work and I knew that I wouldn't get a photo in otherwise. It worked out well because I had been hoping to take pictures of this dance wear shop in Covent Garden.  I walk past it on my way to and from work and the window display makes me feel giddy with excitement. I love ballet, although I never even had one lesson. I love the costumes a lot but there is something about ballet shoes that makes me intensely happy. I can't explain why but I can say that I also love skates, platform boots, bell bottom trousers...

Anyway, I really like the way that they have displayed their ballet shoes and I wanted to take some pictures of their shop window. I took these photos at about 8.30am so the sun was low in the sky. 

This was their other window. I love it.  

This was actually another shop down the road. I could hang out on this street for hours. I bought Bear's ballet outfit on this street a couple of weeks ago. I spent some time watching young dancers being fitted for their shoes. It was amazing and breathtaking to watch them adopting different dancers poses just to try on shoes. Apart from being truly beautiful I was moved by the knowledge that the girls had worked so hard to achieve the privilege of en pointe shoes.  

I couldn't resist taking a couple of night time shots on my way home. I found that a lower exposure worked well with these pictures. I was also interested to see how much creative freedom could be taken with white balance when there were no skin tones to worry about.   

Tonight was a totally different sort of photography venture. I read this fun article about photographing your kids jumping on the bed this morning. I have taken a few jumping on the bed photos and I enjoy this article. None of it was new information to me but it did give me the push I needed to raise my ISO levels beyond the boundaries set by my camera. The main thing about jumping on the bed shots is that you need a very high shutter speed to capture the motion and a greater depth of field to have any hope of nailing the focus. Higher shutter speeds and apertures mean that the ISO needs to go up too. I was stuggling even at ISO 3200 and f/2.8 to get a shutter speed anywhere near fast enough. 

The maximum ISO that my camera offers is 3200, but I was aware that you can unlock much higher ISOs than that. Things look so grainy at 3200 that I figured that it wasn't worth trying. My curiosity got the better of me tonight and I figured it was worth a go! Here are the results... 

The images are shockingly bad SOOC... The noise is unbearable. 

However, the luminance slider on Lightroom improved things a lot. I usually wouldn't go beyond 20 but I really needed to pump it up to 50 or so. Even still, you can see quite a lot of noise and the images are far from sharp. We are talking seriously high ISO though. 

ISO 6400...

ISO 12800 (Seriously!!)

The author of the article has a Canon 5D Mark III and she says that it handles high ISO well. I do not think that is true of my camera. It was fun to try and I like the images that I got this evening. I don't think that they are print or wall worthy and therefore I am not sure that I would go beyond 3200 again. It sure was interesting to have a go though.