I wanted more depth of field but couldn't at ISO 6400. I also knew that at 6400 the amount of noise would be problematic though admittedly not ruinous.
The new Nikon D3s can shoot in the dark. Dark as inside the closet with the door closed. Dark as on the far side of the moon.
ISO 12,800—insane by any standard—is as clean as 3200 on my camera. Virtually noiseless.
This image, captured as they watched the premier of a documentary of his return to PrairyErth, very nicely portrays their emotions. Their expressions are timeless and pitch perfect. It's a photo any photojournalist would envy. I took it, and I'm not happy.
Almost. Ninety percent happy. Ten percent royally pissed.
I keep shooting in the dark and struggling with my equipment. If I stuck to landscapes I would not need anything else. I currently own the perfect setup. Except for one slight problem: I'm also a photojournalist, and photojournalists are rarely in good light. We shoot in auditoriums and barns and theaters and opera houses and smoky VFW halls, even occasionally outdoors. And always, without exception, what we shoot can never be replicated. It's a once-in-a-lifetime event. You don't get second chances. It's like life.
I've put off buying a D3s for a long time, mostly because I can't afford it, my teeth are falling out, the truck burns oil and needs fixed, etc. But having that once-in-a-lifetime chance at nailing my second-favorite author at the exact perfect moment in a dark barn with limited ambient light—and almost but not quite succeeding—pushed me over the edge.
I missed another chance at ordering the camera. It's the most coveted camera in the world today and nobody has one in stock. I snoozed, I let my financial fears have the last word, and now this.
I will not let the opportunity pass again.
So, that's why that single image cost me almost $5,200. Not yet. But soon.