It doesn’t matter whether you are shooting on a digital camera or using film, or whether you are using a manual setting or on auto – understanding the principles of ISO will definitely improve your photography.
We are here to demystify ISO, also known as ASA and Film Speed to help you get the look you want for your photos.
A low ISO means that you can have the shutter open for longer because the film is less sensitive to light, allowing you to capture more detail or movement. Remember that because the shutter needs to be open for longer for the image to expose, you will need a steady hand or to use a tripod. The reason for using a high ISO for large images is because the graininess associated with high ISO is more noticeable on larger areas.
A high ISO means that you can have a fast shutter speed and still capture an image in low light. If this is the case – you may be wondering why we don’t just use a high ISO all the time – well, it is because there is a trade off, and that is picture quality. The high sensitivity not only captures images in low light, but also highlights the imperfections in the film, or the camera sensor. The effect is further exaggerated in shadows and not highlights, therefore more noticeable in darker scenes.
50 to 200 ISO - bright sunny days400 ISO - overcast days or indoors with natural light from a window800 ISO - indoors without a flash1600+ ISO – low light conditions, parties, concerts, plays etc
Do you have any ISO experiences or tips you can share with the community? I'd love to hear your comments.