Friday, September 24, 2010

What The Heck Is ISO?

By now, you have read your camera manual and have a clear understanding of all the features of your camera, Right?  Don't worry...  The first time I opened my manual to start learning how to shoot on manual settings I got a migraine...   Do the manufactures make it confusing on purpose??   With the help of some fabulous mentors, thank you Lori and Jody of, I can now refer to my manual and understand the language... 

First, you must understand the function of the ISO setting.   What is it?   ISO stands for International Standards Organization...
FILM PHOTOGRAPHY:  It in an indicator of how sensitive the film is to light.  Film is measured in numbers: 100, 200, 400, 800, 1200, 1600 etc.  The lower the number the lower the sensitivity to light AND the lower the grain or noise in your photograph. 

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY:  The same standards apply, but instead of loading film in your camera, you are setting the ISO manually.    For example, if you are shooting a sports event and want to FREEZE the action you will use a Higher ISO.  And if you are shooting in low light or darker settings you will use a Higher ISO ...
NOTE:  The trade off will be noiser or grainier photos...

 Thank you to and Elizabeth Giargiani for supplying this example photo.  As you can see these photos were shot in the same lighting situation using different ISO settings.  As you can see, under the low light conditions, IS0 1600 illuminated the room...

So, now what are general guidelines to get you out there practicing with your camer???
ISO100:  Great for sunny days AND give you great images for enlargements
ISO 200:  Great for overcast or shaded days
ISO 400:  Great for lower lighting conditions/helps you capture moving targets to "Freeze Movement"

Talk to you soon, Stacy

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the information about ISO.
    This sure helps me a lot about this.

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