ISO Light Sensitivity

In our last article, we discussed the importance of learning exposure. Once you learn the basics of exposure, it’s time to begin learning other parts of the camera such as the ISO.

It is unknown exactly what ISO, but it is a very important part of manual photography. The ISO of the camera determines the light sensitivity. In order to use it effectively, you must determine how much light you need, then set the digital sensors to that sensitivity. For example, if your photography set up has plenty of light, you may choose to set your camera to an ISO of 100, which is the lowest setting. If you are in a dark surrounding, such as outside in the middle of the night, you will need to set your ISO much higher. Many cameras will allow you to set your ISO as high as 6400. That does require you to make a sacrifice, though. When you have your ISO set high, you will find a lot more noise in your finished product. That is simply because the camera is compensating for the low amount of light in your environment.

Some of the newer, more expensive cameras may have less grain with a high ISO, though. Those cameras’ have an improved ability to pick up light in a dark scene, making the overall picture look much better.

One of the best ways to learn about your cameras ISO abilities is to play around with it. Try different settings in the middle of the day and late at night. Also try different ISO settings at other times throughout the day. Look at the final product to determine what settings are best on your camera for each scene. Once you play around with it enough, you will understand the role that ISO plays in your photography.

If you would like more information and hands on learning when it comes to ISO settings, be sure to come to our next meeting. We would love to have you.