Back at you as promised for this photography mini series about how to use your camera with manual settings. The first week we talked about how to avoid photography blunders, last week I showed you how to achieve that blurry background by working with aperture and this week we are going to talk about ISO settings. Mini refresher, manual mode has 3 main settings, shutter speed, aperture and ISO. If you didn’t read last weeks post, I insist you do to now so you will be up to speed for today. I’m going to show you what I think is the easiest setting out of all 3 on the manual mode switches. Today we are talking about ISO.
The most simple way to think about ISO in my mind is “bring in light to the situation“. I really don’t like working with flash. There are a few situations that call for it but it’s pretty rare for what I use my camera for. I think if you know your three settings, you can avoid flash. Flash just looks so harsh, adds a weird artificial light and shadows. So how would you need to play around with ISO you ask Amanda. Well, any room/situation that is dark and needs light added, that is when you increase your ISO. When do you want little or no ISO added? When you are outside and there is plenty of light. Remember though, the higher you go up with your ISO, the more “noise” you add to a picture. Basically it makes it a little more grainy, less sharp and when you zoom in, you tend to lose that crispness. However, I’d rather have the shot with a higher ISO photography than miss the shot with a dark setting. Okay let’s practice.
Here is the exact same shot with the shutter speed and aperture set exactly the same. Shutter speed 1/100 and aperture with a F-stop of 3.5. Now that tells us right off the bat we are inside and need light coming in right? Slower shutter speed allows for the shutter to stay open longer but can lead to blur if your hands aren’t steady. F-stop lower down allows more light in to focus on the front object and blur the background. Now lets play around with the ISO so you see how it works. I should note I am shooting with this camera, this lens and I haven’t edited any pictures besides adjusting the size so they will upload faster.
The perfect combo for this setting, shutter speed 1/100, F-stop 3.5 and ISO 800
Now here is what it looks like when you start increasing the ISO, watch what happens. Shutter speed 1/100, F-stop 3.5 and ISO 1600.
Now let’s go the other way. Not enough ISO in a picture. Granted you can always lighten a picture at the end but let’s be honest, editing takes so much time and the more you edit, the more you compress and lose the quality of your picture.
Shutter speed 1/100, F-stop 3.5 and ISO 400.
I kind of like how moody this picture looks but the ISO is too low and the picture is dark. Shutter speed 1/100, F-stop 3.5 and ISO 400.
Are you starting to see how ISO works now? Okay let’s compare indoor shooting with ISO vs outdoor shooting with ISO.
Now taking it outside see how the shutter speed and ISO need to change not to make this picture overly brightened and you can see the colors in the bike.
Okay your turn. This picture was taken outside, at 9 in the morning with sun out but not directly hitting me. What would you set your camera for?
Settings were shutter speed 1/100, F-stop 2.0, ISO 100. The hint was we were outside. Outside = plenty of light and lower ISO.
You’re learning right? Hint was we were inside so you have to increase that ISO. Shutter speed 1/100, F-stop 3.5 and ISO 800.
Shutter speed 1/200, F-stop 5.6, ISO 200. You need to increase it just slightly because it is cloudy out but not too much to overexpose the shot.
How did you do? Did you guess right?? You guys are on your way to taking your camera off that automatic mode and shooting like a pro. Now get out there and practice!
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If you like this post I’d love for you guys to pin and share it. Have you been practicing after last weeks tutorial? Are you getting those blurry backgrounds yet? Next week we will talk about working with your shutter speed. You can find all these blogging tutorials under my blogging freebies tab at the top of the page. Hope everyone is having a great week!