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Use a High ISO to Create Grainy Shots

Today we’re going to continue our Breaking the Rules of Photography series by suggesting you experiment with a high ISO.

Don’t know what ISO is? Read this introduction to ISO before reading on.

While not really a ‘rule’ of photography – it is generally accepted in most photographic tutorials that you should avoid noise in your images at all costs by choosing the lowest ISO possible for the light situation that you’re shooting in. This will leave you with shots that are as smooth, clean and sharp as possible for the lighting conditions that you’re in.

While this is a recommended practice in most shooting circumstances – there are times where ramping up your ISO setting to it’s maximum can create some interesting effects.

Grainy or noisy shots can give your image a gritty and raw quality that creates a completely different mood in your shots.

I should say in concluding that this technique is getting more and more difficult as an in camera technique because manufacturers are getting better and better at eliminating noise and grain from high ISO settings. In the ‘old day’s of film this was a lot easier to do as high ISO films naturally had lovely gritty grain to them. Some cameras will end up with muddy/murky shots instead. A better route is probably to take a shot at a lower ISO and do some post production work to get the grainy effect that you’re after – however sometimes it’s more fun to try to get these effects in camera.

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Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse

is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals.

He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

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