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The Low Light Photography Field Guide by Michael Freeman

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Types of Noise

Low light photography supplies the conditions for potentially noisy images. Indeed, there is no escape from the problem, because the two practical circumstances that create the most noise are high ISO settings and long exposures.

Substituting handheld shooting for locked-down and vice versa simply exchanges different causes for the noise. And a problem it is because, while it invites comparison with film grain, it is aesthetically much less agreeable. The aesthetics of imagery are, of course, largely a matter of taste, but to date no photographer to my knowledge has chosen to use noise in a deliberate and positive way. With film, on the other hand, many photographers used the grain pattern from high-speed emulsions or enlargements ...

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