Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 | 6 comments

using iso setting

It’s easy to take photos in natural light.  If you are using a phone camera just snap it and post it; if you are using a point and shoot or a DSLR camera, your Auto or Program mode comes in very handy, specially if you are not in your artistic mood to take creative shots.

Now, what if you were not blessed with natural light and you were in a situation where very low light is available?  Think of indoor where regardless of time the light that comes in inside was very limited.

Your built-in camera flash will be a good solution, probably… but most of you know exactly how a photo taken with an in-camera flash looks like, right? Usually, an in-camera flash only lightens the front of your subject only resulting in not-so pretty photos of your subject.  I do not have a sample picture I can show to you right now so I want to invite you to close your eyes and remember all your photos with your family taken with a built-in camera flash years before.

Now open your eyes and continue reading…
Today, I want to introduce you to ISO, next week I will talk about aperture, then next-next week about shutter speed.

If you’re new to digital photography, making sense of all the lingo and acronyms can be a rather daunting task, but it’s also key to knowing your way around your camera and taking excellent photos.

I put together photos of where you can find your ISO setting in your camera devices.

iso settings

In very basic terms, ISO is the level of sensitivity of your camera to available light.

The lower the ISO number, the less sensitive it is to the light, while a higher ISO number increases the sensitivity of your camera.

The part within your camera that can change sensitivity is called sensor. It is the most important (and most expensive) component of a camera and it is responsible for gathering light and transforming it into an image. With increased sensitivity, your camera sensor can capture images in low-light environments without having to use a flash. But higher sensitivity comes at an expense – it adds grain or “noise” to the pictures.

Take a look at the following picture.


ISO 3200


ISO 200

The difference is clear – the image on the left hand side at ISO 3200 has a lot more noise in it, than the one on the right at ISO 200.

This is the most “OA” representation of the high and low ISO.  I took the picture with high ISO in a place where there’s very low light available (honestly, in the bathroom) the other one with ISO 200, I took on my work table with a lot of natural light coming in.

I want to stress out that you should always try to stick to the lowest ISO of your camera, which is typically ISO 100 or 200, whenever possible. When there is plenty of light, you should always use the lowest ISO, to retain the most detail and to have the highest image quality. 

So when do we need to increase ISO?

You should increase the ISO when there is no enough light for the camera to be able to quickly capture an image. Anytime I shoot indoors and there’s very low light available, I would simply adjust the ISO to a higher setting, usually 400-800.  But before increasing the ISO, you should think if it is OK for you to introduce noise to the image or a noise looks more pleasant than using your built-in camera flash.

I hope this helps you understand your ISO settings.  If you have questions please let me know in your comment below.


Happy shooting ladies!













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