High Iso portraits from the Omo valley in Ethiopia with the Nikon D5
I am Albi, a German photographer based in Paris. I work with Nikon since many years, up from the D1 till now the D5. I also have a photo blog since 6 years: pictures-by-albi.com; I consider myself as an Amateur. All pictures on this post are taken with the Nikon D5.
I went to a workshop “Masterclass with Steve McCurry” to the Omo valley in southern Ethiopia organized by http://better-moments.com/ , a Danish photo travel agency.
I never work with flash and I thought going in June to Ethiopia there will be light enough…
In fact, I was very happy to had the D5, because there wasn’t that light I did expect: the Mursi, an ethnic group living in small villages far away from any civilization can only be visited in the morning because they drink a lot of an 80% Alcohol in the afternoon, taking pictures will be too dangerous….
we arrived at 10 o’clock in the Mursi village and soon we had this called by Steve “noon-light”.
There was no other solution to made the portraits under trees, in the shadow.
So we had to take most of all pictures on this trip on late afternoon in the shadow, or inside. Also we went to different market places, early in the morning, with very good light, but we had to wait till 10-11 o’clock, because the people arrived very late.
I was so surprised to do pictures in Ethiopia up to 51.200 iso.
I always work in “M” manual mode and ISO auto, and don’t want to go under 1/100s, the D5 works phantastic, with my D3 I was limited to 800 iso, the D4s allowed me to shoot correctly till 4000 iso, but the D5 now gives you much more possibility to do portraits everywhere.
In fact we had all over a very warm welcome, it was very easy to take the portraits, everybody knows that in this place of the world you have to pay for it, but for me it is a win-win relation, they wait for you, they made themselves pretty for you and you came to do portraits.
This new zoom seems perfect for the D5, the weight allows you to “shoot” by hand, but you need a very short speed (1/2000) and an aperture at f/8, so you need these high ISO.
1/125s – f/8 – 4500 ISO - 24-70mm f/2.8
First of all I will say “thank you” to the travel agency “Better-Moments” to organize so well this trip, I like to make photo workshops with a group, you do more and better pictures, there is an ambiance of photography: nobody cares of time, there is no hurry, everybody is on the same “run” of light and takes care. Nikon doesn’t sponsor this post, I just wanted to explain that with the Nikon D5 you are much more free to shoot at any situation without taking too much care of the light, it is just incredible the change of technology in a few years!
Another word to Steve McCurry who managed this workshop: a very smart friend, very simple, close to us, he is not a technology freak. He took only a Nikon D810 with a 24-70mm f/2.8 in 9 days, he is just hunting the best light, when I say hunting the best light with the best frame, it’s just an obsession, he is searching for those colors that he is famous for…
…by the way I think 80% of you and including me: we think too much technic, too much settings of the camera and loose that time for a perfect frame and a real search of beautiful colors and the perfect background.
Thank you for reading my “Amateur” view about the ISO performances of the Nikon D5.
Albi from http://pictures-by-albi.com/.