Photography Basics #3: Understanding ISO

We talked about Aperture, and Shutter Speed and now it’s ISO’s turn.  ISO is another way to get more light when exposing your photo.  Light comes through your aperture and passes the open shutter onto your sensor.  By turning up your ISO its telling the sensor to become more sensitive to the light coming in.  Watch what changing your ISO can do.

My Settings were Shutter 1/80, F 2.8.  It was dark.

ISO:
100
200
320
400
500
640
800
1000
1600
2000
2500
3200
4000
5000
6400

I know of some photographers who won’t go past 640.  Then I know others who’ll go all the way up to 6400.  The reason for this is because the higher your ISO is, the more grainy your picture will be.  Choosing to go as high as 6400 all depends on how you feel.  I’ve personally gone as high as 6400 for a wedding, embracing the ‘texture.’  Here are two example photos.  The top one I actually went into photoshop and smoothed her skin and the second you can see the graininess.

Hope that helps you understand ISO if you didn’t know.  We have a great range of followers from little experience to advanced and Go{4}Pro really wants to help those who need more understanding figure these things out.  It can be really difficult to learn on your own and we want this blog to be a safe place for any photographer no matter where you may stand.  We truly love our readers and want everyone to succeed with their dream!

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