This last week one day after work I drove to the State Capitol and the Port of Olympia to experiment with taking side-by-side image series for stitching together as a panoramic in the computer. But since I was at the marina just as the sun set, and I had the tripod all set up, I did a couple 2 second exposures at f/16.
I edited these shots in Lightroom and used NIK Color Efex Pro 4 to get a little extra punch. I had issues with these kinds of photos in Aperture, because my camera is an EOS 7D, and while it’s capable of capturing stunning images, it has an APS-C cropped sensor. The sensor is only about 1/3 the size of an EOS 5D or other full-frame sensor camera. This has advantages and disadvantages, but one of the disadvantages is that it’s easier to get noisy images. 1/3 the sensor size collects 1/3 the light from the lens. And the individual little photo receptors that collect the light must be smaller too and not as sensitive.
So when you start pushing shadows up and doing more than minor image adjustments, you can make the digital noise really pop out. Fortunately, Lightroom has much better tools for sharpening and noise reduction in the “Detail” panel. But I’m also learning not to cross the line with extreme adjustments that can enhance or generate noise.