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Understanding ISO settings

From: Up and Running with Lighting: Natural Light

Video: Understanding ISO settings

An important factor in the photographic triangle is ISO. You can control the light by adjusting your camera's ISO setting. ISO is your camera's sensor's sensitivity to the light. Let's say you're in a low light situation, like a party or a museum or a school play, and you can't use your flash to light up the scene. To reduce the blur and still capture the shot, raise your ISO to 400, 800, or as high as it goes. Just experiment, that's the beauty of digital.

Understanding ISO settings

An important factor in the photographic triangle is ISO. You can control the light by adjusting your camera's ISO setting. ISO is your camera's sensor's sensitivity to the light. Let's say you're in a low light situation, like a party or a museum or a school play, and you can't use your flash to light up the scene. To reduce the blur and still capture the shot, raise your ISO to 400, 800, or as high as it goes. Just experiment, that's the beauty of digital.

You can instantly check out your image on the LCD view finder to see if you're capturing a good exposure. There's one catch to raising the ISO. You may see noise in your images, similar to film grain it appears as discolored pixels in the darker areas of your image. It's a trade off. Do you want a blurry image due to low light and a slow shutter speed, or a little noise in your image? If I do find noise in my images, I can filter it out later using an image editing software program like Photoshop Elements.

Some high end cameras allow you to use a high ISO setting without experiencing major image degradation. But many cameras produce too much noise when you set the ISO above 800. You'll need to experiment and see how your camera responds to high ISO settings. If you're in a low light situation and would like to maintain the natural light effect increase your ISO. Open your lens aperture to the widest setting your lens allows, and if the light is very low, support your camera on a solid surface or use a tripod. Don't be afraid to use ISO as another way to control the light.

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Up and Running with Lighting: Natural Light

17 video lessons · 9651 viewers

Erin Manning
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