Noisy Telephone Booth at Night

Telephone Booth

A telephone booth is a rare find these days. When you do find them it seems it is never suitable for it’s intended use. Not once have I seen a super hero come out of one in flashy tights and take off into the sky. But I have seen people go into them to make phone calls. Even done it a few times myself, and on one of those rotary dial thingies.

Does anyone reading blogs even know what rotary dial is?

For today’s Shots with Randy I decided to go back a few weeks to a weekend trip to Savannah, Georgia. Just happens that this is the shot I’m working on today, and I wanted to get another posts up, so why not this one.

I’m almost done with all the Savannah images I have made so far. You can see them here.

This one is also available in my Fine Art Gallery.

Savannah is a great city for photography and I can’t wait to go back when I have some time to really explore. It will take more than the weekend I had available on the last trip. I want to explore some architectural photography, perhaps a little street photography, and capture my own vision of this historic city where Georgia began.

There is one other post on the blog featuring one of my Savannah images. Go on over and read it.

Handheld Night Image

The telephone booth image has a lot more grain (noise) than most of my images and a lot more grain than most people like. Many people don’t like grain because they think it makes images too grungy and rough. That’s kind of the point, and exactly why I like it in this image. The grunge, the texture, are what make this image. Less grain might have been a little better, but this much doesn’t hurt.

telephone booth

So, maybe your wondering why so much grain.

The image was just after sunset of a dark, cloudy day. There was little light besides what you see in the picture. The ISO on my camera was set to “auto,” leaving the camera’s brain to select the appropriate ISO for the shutter speed and aperture which I set manually. Since I was using a “nifty-fifty,” (50mm lens) I selected 1/80 for the shutter so I could easily hand hold the camera with little noticeable shake and an aperture of f/2.8, giving a thin depth of field, but enough to get everything I wanted in relatively good focus. Based on these settings, the camera picked ISO 6400 as the appropriate “film” speed.

That’s the long, technical answer. If you’re still with me, and I hope you are, here is the short answer.

Art…photography is art.

I probably could have reduced the noise by selecting a slower shutter speed. A speed of 1/30 or 1/15 would probably have yielded a good image and perhaps moved the ISO to around 3200 or 1600, but there would almost certainly been more noticeable shake in the image.

The settings I used also gave the image a better contrast. The brightness of the lighted areas is a nice contrast to the darker areas making the overall image more interesting.

How would you have handled making an image in a similar low light situation, other than using a tripod (which I didn’t have with me)? Let me know in the comments below or by email. You can also send me any questions you may have about any of the things I have touched on here.


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