International Standards Organization (ISO)
Hello my name is Geo. I imagine your first thought is who am I in the world of photography. Well, I am nobody famous, just an average guy whose passion is photography. With my passion for photography I would like to embark on a journey of exploring the secrets of fantabulous photography with you, the reader.
If you are relatively new to digital photography, making sense of all the lingo and acronyms can be confusing, although, it is also the key to knowing your way around your camera and taking excellent photos.
On the right here I have a rather sloppy photo of one of my Canon cameras with the ISO selection screen. Depending on your model of camera you may have more choices than this or possibly less. I believe the Canon Rebels have less choice of ISO than this model. Each of these numbers represent a film speed. The higher the number, the more sensitivity to light that particular film speed has. Sounds great great except higher ISO's have more digital noise or film grain which lessens the overall quality of your photo. With the improvements of modern technology cameras can very well shoot at up to ISO's of 1,000 or 1,250 and still look great. Every camera model is different. When you shoot above ISO 1600 you will see digital noise.
As many photographers, I do my best to use the lowest possible ISO that I can in every situation. I normally shoot in manual mode so I have complete control. In every situation I shoot practice shots first to see what works best. Senior portraits, weddings and live music shows I desire the best quality photo possible so I start the lowest ISO I believe will work for that situation. Sometimes I have to go to a higher ISO than I would like. Getting a poor shot is better than no shot. I'm just saying.
When choosing your ISO you can choose auto which the camera then chooses the ISO it thinks works best. I do not lke this choice, although, it is a choice if you prefer not to mess with ISO. Also most cameras will have a section where you can choose a maximum ISO so even on auto your camera will not go above your set ISO. Which I advise to use should you shoot on auto ISO.
Choosing your ISO can depend on other settings in your camera. Aperture and shutter speed also play a big part in your choices. Now we are talking exposure triangle, which I have a tutorial on this subject here on my website. The few tutorials I have here on my website I wrote hoping to help the people viewing my website. My tutorials are very brief. With the internet one could easily find unlimited tutorials and opinions on photography. Some tend to make photography sound complicated, it is not. Practice using all the various settings you have in your camera and develope your own style. Use the information you find on the internet as a guideline, not something carved in stone. We all have our own style, explore yours. Have fun shooting.
Over on the right I have a photo taken at a live music show, which was a most awesome experience. I shot this photo at ISO 1600 F/2.8 1/800 shutter speed.
Thank you for listening, Geo Beck.