Thursday, May 31, 2012

Photography Basics :Understanding ISO

The downside to increasing ISO is that it causes images to be grainy.  Those little light catchers show up as grain in an image.  The smaller the number the smaller the grain.  The larger the number the bigger the grain.  You always want to weigh your benefit/risk when it comes to high ISO's.  If you are looking for a super sharp image a higher ISO may not be the best option.


   


    For those who need a visual reference, here is a series of images.  Each of these were taken with an 85mm prime lens.  My shutter speed was set to 1/60 and my aperture was 3.5.  The only thing that changed was the ISO.  Notice how the amount of light increases with each photograph.  Later on this will mean something, but for now I want you to focus on the fact that the higher the ISO the more light and the larger the grain the image will have.


    ISO100 This image was taken at ISO 100.


   


    ISO200This image was taken at ISO 200.


    ISO400 This image was taken at ISO 400.


    ISO800This image was taken at ISO 800.


    ISO1600 This image was taken at ISO 1600.


   


    Now it's your turn.  Pick an object in an area that gets low light.  Set your shutter speed to 1/60th and aperture to 3.5 and then don't touch them.  Take a series of images and only adjust your ISO setting.  Pay attention to how the light is increased and the amount of grain in the images.  Come back here and post what you've done!  I can't wait to see!


    Next week we'll tackle shutter speed!


   
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