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TheGalleryOfEve asked recently about SLR settings and in particular, a troubleshooting article focusing on ISO. So here it is! Hopefully this article will help you to understand ISO better, whether a beginner or not.

What Is ISO?


ISO within traditional photography, was an indication of how sensitive a film was to light. Within digital photography it measures the sensitivity of the image sensor. Basically, the lower the number then the less your camera is sensitive to light. Higher ISO numbers are generally used in dark situations to get faster shutter speeds but this can often mean that your shots are noisier. ISO 100 is the most widely used and gives crisp shots with little to no grain. Shooting in automatic means that the camera will select the appropriate ISO for the situations that you are facing, and work out the rest for you to reduce noise as much possible. But it's when you start getting more technical and manual that it's important to understand how to get the best out of the setting for the best kind of shots. So, in summary ISO = the higher the number, the more sensitive to light your camera becomes.

Thinking about ISO


When thinking about ISO, consider the following:
:bulletblack: Is my subject lit well already?
:bulletblack: Is it moving, or likely to move?
:bulletblack: Do I need a tripod?

Examples of situations that require higher ISO...



Sports events, particularly indoor ones, might require you to change your camera settings to get the best shots possible. Sporting events are most likely coupled with moving subjects, and often with poor lighting depending on what kind of setting you are in. A fast moving subject means limited light available, and thus ISO needs to be pushed higher.

Birthday parties are another great example of when a higher ISO is needed. Whether this is because you are taking photos of people dancing at a disco - and again this is important with wedding discos too - or whether you are capturing somebody blowing out candles. These sorts of opportunities can often be ruined by flash, and so pushing your ISO higher will help to compensate for that.

Churches are another situation that may require you to think more about your lighting and achieving the best possible shots. Often with poor lighting, or lit only by candles, they can be tricky subjects. Getting the best out of the environment you are given requires working with the settings to accurately capture the situation as it is presented to you.

Below are some fantastic tutorials, rather than write what others have already written, check them out. The video tutorial is a great visual accompaniment to understanding ISO and the chart below shows exactly how ISO should increase with situation - thanks to PetaPixel!



Previous Photography Troubleshooting Articles


:bulletblack:Money Matters
:bulletblack:Tripod or Not
:bulletblack:The Watermark FAQ
:bulletblack:From Snap to Pro
:bulletblack:Lighting
:bulletblack:Backgrounds
:bulletblack:Noise
:bulletblack:What Digital Camera?
:bulletblack:Filters
:bulletblack:Dull Images on dA
:bulletblack:Winter Wildlife
:bulletblack:Grouping People
:bulletblack:Christmas Lights - Shooting them!
:bulletblack:Photographing Food
:bulletblack:Working with Mist
:bulletblack:Capturing Autumn
:bulletblack:Photographing Pets
:bulletblack:Capturing Fireworks
:bulletblack:Capturing Halloween
:bulletblack:Photographing Babies
:bulletblack:Capturing Snow
:bulletblack:Being a People Person

If you've got a burning Photography related question then do shoot me a note! Where possible and with the help of other deviants, I will put together an article that will hopefully answer it. If you've got some advice for other deviants, equally jump in! Don't forget to check out the previous articles before you ask ;) And :+fav: !
Add a Comment:
 
:iconunicornsaint:
UnicornSaint Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow thank you for this resource! It's really helpful,
I had no idea!
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Glad it's useful!
Reply
:icontheresahelmer:
theresahelmer Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014  Professional Photographer
Even when I am not foreign with the meaning ISO, I thought his article is informative and easy to understand. Well done! I shall refer this to anyone who wishes to understand how to take a decent photo 101 basic.
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Excellent glad it helps :)
Reply
:iconhayley--jade:
hayley--jade Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
This was very informative, thank you :)
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
You're welcome :)
Reply
:iconregularjane:
regularjane Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
very helpful :) I should pay more attention to ISO...
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Me too :D
Reply
:iconlittlevoodooshoppe:
LittleVoodooShoppe Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Fantastic! This was a wonderful re-fresher and incredibly helpful. :heart:
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
You're welcome :)
Reply
:iconoutback-art:
OutBack-Art Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Professional Photographer
Who made this journal skin?
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I'm not sure :o
Reply
:iconoutback-art:
OutBack-Art Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Professional Photographer
Okay thanks. :D
Reply
:iconoutback-art:
OutBack-Art Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Professional Photographer
Awesome article! I was going to write an article very similar. Great job.
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you :)
Reply
:iconoutback-art:
OutBack-Art Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Professional Photographer
Your welcome. What do you say about, when you have your ISO lower it brings more sharpest and clarity into your shot, but if you have your ISO higher (e.g.for like weddings) it brings in more noise? Whats you thoughts on that?
Reply
:iconfrits10a:
frits10a Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Very interesting and helpful article..
Thank you very much :-)
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
No problem :)
Reply
:iconshamanqueen1994:
ShamanQueen1994 Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Such a great help thank you so much for the article :)
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
No problem!
Reply
:iconluceamluceo:
LuceamLuceo Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
Great article!! THanks for sharing :)
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
:) no problem!
Reply
:iconluckydesigns:
luckydesigns Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Awesome article! :D
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
:D
Reply
:iconzordora:
Zordora Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
Thanks, this helps a lot.
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
No problem! :)
Reply
:iconzordora:
Zordora Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
:)
Reply
:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much Katy for explaining all this so clearly!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::aww::iconflyingheartsplz: ... I understand it now!!! :excited:

Thank you!!!!! :happybounce::iconlainloveplz::happybounce:
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Glad it helped! :heart:
Reply
:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:iconflyingheartsplz::iconaawplz::iconflyingheartsplz:
Reply
:iconigorskrjukovs:
IgorsKrjukovs Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks, that helps a lot, although wanted to ask - how else you could reduce digital noise without using luminance !? I'm quite like beginner in this case :/ !
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
That's the only way I know of unfortunately, in after-production anyway. I use a combination of contrast, brightening/exposure and luminance :)
Reply
:iconigorskrjukovs:
IgorsKrjukovs Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
yeaaam... it seems like there no other way, just don't like to use luminance as it destroys(not completly though ... :) ) the details in photo :/ !
Reply
:iconwhenpigsfry:
WhenPigsFry Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I like this article for understanding digital camera noise. [link]
Reply
:iconigorskrjukovs:
IgorsKrjukovs Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I like that post in the link you provided, seems quite good info (bookmarked :) )!
Reply
:iconwhenpigsfry:
WhenPigsFry Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Glad it was useful!
Reply
:iconigorskrjukovs:
IgorsKrjukovs Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Nowadays any info is usefull :) !
Reply
:iconsoulslastsanctuary:
SoulsLastSanctuary Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks, this actually helped a lot.
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Excellent! :)
Reply
:iconamiejo:
amiejo Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
Merci pour toutes ces indications, de merveilleuses recettes pour réussir le gâteau! :bow: :rose:
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
:hug: I look forward to seeing the cake :D
Reply
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