What is ISO in Photography? – Photography for Beginners Series
What if we just can’t get enough light in to the camera sensor using your aperture and your shutter speed? No problem! There is a way to maximise the light that you have allowed to enter. To do this all you need to do is increase your ISO. But what is ISO in photography? Want to know more? Below is a brief summary of what is covered in this podcast episode (but listening to the real thing is way better…)
- The ISO scale usually starts at 100 (200 on some cameras) and then doubles as far as your camera will allow. 100 – 200 – 400 – 800 – 1600 – 3200 – 6400 (and beyond for some.)
- ISO 100 being the least sensitive to light and 6400 being the most.
- ISO is the short name for the International Organisation for Standardisation which develops and publishes international standards
Watch this video which astounded me by pointing out that I have been pronouncing ISO wrongly forever! Also why it is called ISO and not IOS.
- You could draw a comparison between adaptive lenses for spectacles and ISO. As it gets darker, your adaptive lenses will fade to clear to sensitise your eyes to the light, enabling you to see. When it is bright your adaptive lenses darken – desensitising your eyes to the light again.
- When you can’t get enough light in to your camera sensor via your aperture and shutter speed you need to increase your ISO setting.
- When photographing small children I like to aim for a minimum shutter speed of 1/250 of a second. If I meter the light (metering coming up in next episode) and find that my shutter speed is not able to be as fast as this then I increase my ISO so that my shutter can get faster.
- When you increase your ISO – you increase digital noise in your image. The higher the ISO, the more apparent your digital noise.
- Digital noise looks like lots of dots in your image. Almost like grains of sand. In the days of film we called it ‘film grain’.
- Low light situations require high ISO unless you use additional artificial light such as flash.
- Different cameras will perform differently in terms of digital noise. Some will cope better than others. This depends on many different things.
- With an entry-level DSLR you might find it hard to go beyond ISO1600 without noise becoming pretty bad.
TEA BREAK TASK
Simply find our how to change the ISO on your particular camera. Once you know change it from low to high. Your manual should tell you this but, if not, google should help you out!
I have been overwhelmed with the very kind reviews on iTunes and so glad that so many of you are enjoying the podcast! If you have a moment to leave an honest review I would be incredibly grateful. You can find out how to do this via your iPhone or iPad right here.
I talk about our fabulous beginners photography group on facebook in this week’s show – we would love to welcome you in so that you can join our chats and share your journey and some images too. If you would like to be added to this awesome community then just click the link below and we will meet you there!