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Creative Portrait Lighting

12 time-proven lighting techniques for making pro-quality portraits

9. Don’t Worry About Noise

This photograph of a novice Buddhist monk in Myanmar is an environmental portrait—a picture of a subject in his or her environment. The light level was very low, so I had to use an ISO of 6400 to get a sharp hand-held shot. I reduced the noise in Lightroom and made a nice photograph.

Don’t worry about the noise. It’s much better to get a photograph with a bit of noise than a blurry photograph taken at a slow shutter speed at a low ISO. We made this photograph, by the way, by setting up the candles, which we bought at a local supermarket, and by asking the novice monk to move into position.

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