As you already may know the three pillars are what builds photography. They are: Shutter Speed, ISO and Aperture. We already explained shutter speed so it’s time to move on to ISO

What is ISO in Photography?

The simplest I can explain it is that ISO, basically is the camera’s sensitivity to light. The higher the ISO the brighter the photo, and the lower the ISO the darker the photo. Film cameras also use ISO, the actual film is based on ISO.


ISO Ranges

The normal range of camera ISO is about 200 to 1600. With today’s digital cameras you can sometimes go as low as 50 or as high as over three million, depending upon the camera model. The number chosen has two important qualities associated with it. First, it sets the amount of light needed for a good exposure. The lower the number, the more light required. The more light that’s required, the more likely a slow shutter speed will have to be used. In bright conditions or when the camera is on a tripod, low ISO is most used. If you don’t have a lot of light, or need a fast shutter speed, you would probably raise the ISO.


Effects of Increasing ISO

Each time you double your ISO, you only need half as much light and your exposure becomes twice as bright. Photographers use high ISO in sporting events and indoor the most, because you need a fast shutter to capture the action but the light in a closed gym for example is not ideal. It’s also worth mentioning that higher ISO, generates more digital noise.


Auto ISO

Auto ISO was originally introduced to help photographers manage their digital noise in photos. It’s simple, the camera turns up the ISO when it decides that the shutter speed is too low for a good photo. In most modern cameras you can set the ‘minimum’ and ‘maximum’ ISO you let the camera use. Beginner photographers should begin taking advantage of this option.

Solid and clear understanding of ISO will lead to overall better quality photos and help you make smart decisions about setting your camera settings when shooting.