ISO 12800

ISO 12800 is not the name of a new sci-fi film directed by George Lucas like his first movie THX 1138. In fact, THX was the name of a new generation surround sound, developed by a George Lucas company, that nowadays we all hear in the cinemas. And if you don’t know, maybe we make HDR due to another product developed by a George Lucas Co, ILM. Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) is an American Academy Award-winning motion picture visual effects company that was founded on May 1975. And in 2000, ILM created the OpenEXR format for High Dynamic Range Imaging. This is the 32-bit file format that I use to save my HDR files before tonemapping.

Coming back to the post title, when we talk in photography about ISO, we are referring to one of the 3 exposure parameters (Exposure Triangle): aperture, time and ISO. This means that we can get the same exposure, changing these parameters. As an example, the combinations: aperture f/11, time 1/15s, ISO 12800 ; f/8, 1/30s, ISO 12800 or f/11 1/30s ISO 6400 produce the same exposure but not the same image. And you are wondering why ?

Each change of one of these parameters need a change for 2 other ones. But each parameter has its effect on the image:

ISO: In traditional film photography, ISO was the indication of how sensitive a film was to light. In Digital Photography, ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor. The same principles apply as in film photography – the lower the number the less sensitive your camera is to light and less grainy.

Aperture: It is measure with diaphragm diagonal with f-stop number. High f-stop numbers mean narrow aperture and as consequence less light. The aperture is basically the parameter that change the Depth Of Field (DOF).

Time: It is measure in seconds or fractions of. It is basically used to control the sense of motion in the pictures.

But why 12800 ? Because it’s a high ISO number. And Higher ISO settings are generally used in darker situations to get faster shutter speeds and avoid camera shake. This is one of the reasons to change to a Full-Frame camera like Canon EOS 5D mark III. There are sites like the cathedral in this post image where tripods are not permitted, so the only possibility to get images sharp is to increase ISO. But High ISO means so much noise. About that, I can say that I am very happy with the behaviour of the 5D mark III at high ISOs. The images are fully usable for large prints at ISO 3200 and they are useful for middle-res at ISO 12800. In fact, if you check for reviews and comparisons of this camera with Nikon D800, you will see that 5D mark III wins D800 quality and sharpness, when ISO is higher than 800.

Woman Praying At Almudena Cathedral :: HDR :: DRI

Catedral de la Almudena, Madrid (Spain).

Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM @ 17 mm | f/11, 1/15s, ISO 12800.HDR/DRI from 3 handheld exposures @ [-2 EV .. 0 .. +2 EV ]

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Colourful Heavenly Lights

This is a re-edited version of one of my first sessions taken shots to process HDR pictures. I love the geometry and composition of this photo. Some comments in my Flickr page said that I had an extraordinary and peculiar eye to see the cathedral. I think the POV is original and the use of the columns highlights the geometry. Besides, the light from the windows was colored them.

I don’t like how I processed in my first stages when I was learning HDR processing. And this is another example of my experiences with new post-processing techniques that I have been doing during last years. I have used ‘Tonal Contrast’ preset in Color Efex Pro plugin and also, the sharpening was done with a High Pass filter, due to there was so much noise in the picture.

The Canon EOS 450D was a DSRL that introduced some innovations to ordinary amateurs like Live View, but it hasn’t a good behaviour at High ISO. I am waiting to buy a new DSRL, maybe a high-end APS-C like possible Canon EOS 7D mark II or maybe a full-frame like 5D mark III. But I would like to use such a terrific lens like Nikkor 14-24, that who knows if I change to Nikon and buy a D800. What do you think about this ?

Colourful Heavenly Lights :: HDR

Catedral de la Almudena, Madrid (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM @ 10 mm | f4, 1/160s, ISO 800. HDR/DRI from 3 exposures @ [-2 EV .. 0 .. +2 EV ]

Almudena Cathedral Reflected On River Manzanares

After being without shooting during one and half months, I decided last Sunday, to go out for a photowalk to the Manzanares Riverside. I had previsualised the spot of the picture previously, so I wait until the blue hour to put my teleobjective lens on the tripod and took a set of 2 x 3 exposures to compose a vertorama. I think that the image is not so sharp for me, cos I forgot to switch off the IS stabiliser.

The atmosphere was puting very interesting after shooting the images but unfortunately, I could not go on the session due to the rain and the short time for blue hour during winter.

Almudena Cathedral Reflected On River Manzanares :: HDR :: DRI

Manzanares riverside, Madrid (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | EF70-200mm f2.8L IS USM @ 70 mm | f8, 15s, ISO 100.  HDR /DRI Vertorama from 2 x 3 exposures @ [-2 EV .. 0 .. +2 EV ]

Almudena Cathedral In BW

For this weekend , an old picture re-edited. New version with some defects in the clouds corrected, new noise reduction in layers with Noiseware and sharpening using my favourite High Pass technique. The black and white treatment has been re-done by following the original version with the ‘High Structure’ preset at Silver Efex 1.0. Nik Silver Efex is the best tool for BW processing with a lot of flexibility and options, and I am waiting for the new Silver Efex Pro 2.0 that is coming this month.

During a winter evening last year , I was walking with my gear waiting for the raining stop to shoot using the reflections. When I was so near to home and I was walking near Almudena Cathedral and this was one of the images as result from this shooting session .

The Santa María la Real de La Almudena is the Catholic cathedral in Madrid.

When the capital of Spain was transferred from Toledo to Madrid in 1561, the seat of the Church in Spain remained in Toledo; so the new capital – unusually for a Catholic country – had no cathedral. Plans were discussed as early as the 16th century to build a cathedral in Madrid dedicated to the Virgin of Almudena, but construction did not begin until 1879.

The cathedral seems to have been built on the site of a medieval mosque that was destroyed in 1085 when Alfonso VI conquered Madrid.

Francisco de Cubas, the Marquis of Cubas, designed and directed the construction in a Gothic revival style. Construction ceased completely during the Spanish Civil War, and the project was abandoned until 1950, when Fernando Chueca Goitia adapted the plans of de Cubas to a baroque exterior to match the grey and white façade of the Palacio Real, which stands directly opposite. The cathedral was not completed until 1993, when it was consecrated by Pope John Paul II. On May 22, 2004, the marriage of Felipe, Prince of Asturias to Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano (known thereafter as Letizia, Princess of Asturias) took place at the cathedral.

The Neo-Gothic interior is uniquely modern, with chapels and statues of contemporary artists, in heretogeneous styles, from historical revivals to “pop-art” decor.
The Neo-Romanesque crypt houses a 16th century image of the Virgen de la Almudena. Nearby along the Calle Mayor excavations have unearthed remains of Moorish and medieval city walls.

On the 28th of April 2004, Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela, Archbishop of Madrid blessed the new paintings in the apse, painted by Kiko Arguello, founder of the Neocatechumenal Way. The cathedral is the seat of the Patriarch of the Indies and the Ocean Sea, an honorific patriarchate created in the sixteenth century, and subsequently an honorific title for the Spanish court’s chaplain

Blue Hour @ Almudena's Cathedral #2 :: BW :: HDR (revised)

Catedral de la Almudena , Madrid (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM @ 10 mm | f11, 3.2s, ISO 100.  HDR from 3 exposures @ [-2 EV .. 0 .. +2 EV ]