Exposure Part 3: ISO

Hi! ISO is the final part of the Exposure trifecta, the 3 fundamental ways to control the amount of light to get your desired photo. Check out my posts on the other two parts of the Exposure trifecta if you've missed them: Aperture and Shutter Speed. Traditionally, ISO was the level of sensitivity the roll of film is to light. With digital photography, ISO is a measure of how sensitive the sensor is to light. It’s a great tool to capture objects in low light without having to use a tripod. By increasing the ISO, your camera’s sensor is more sensitive to light, thus allowing you to use a faster shutter speed. However, increasing the ISO adds more grain to a photo.

ISO

Effects on Your Photo: ISO allows you to capture images in low light situations without a tripod, or a fast moving object without motion blur, such as this example below during a low light concert:

 Future Islands at the Fillmore Auditorium - Denver, CO.

Future Islands at the Fillmore Auditorium - Denver, CO.

Effects on the Camera: ISO changes the sensitivity of the sensor to light in your camera. See the examples below from a bust of Homer at the Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland. The Low ISO photo has less grain than the High ISO photo.

Exposure_Part 32.jpg
Exposure_Part 33.jpg

How it Works: For the most part, your ISO setting will be set to Auto, but you can manually change the ISO as well (See your camera’s instructions). ISO levels usually doubles beginning at 100 and 200, all the way up to 40,000. Each ISO level means the camera’s sensor is twice as sensitive to light as the previous ISO level. For example, a camera at ISO 40,000 is 100 times as sensitive to light than ISO 400. What does this mean? This means it takes 100 times less time to capture an image, thus a faster shutter speed:

 ISO 400, Shutter Speed 1/10s

ISO 400, Shutter Speed 1/10s

 ISO 40,000, Shutter Speed 1/1000s

ISO 40,000, Shutter Speed 1/1000s

 Lower ISO = Less Grain

Lower ISO = Less Grain

 Higher ISO = More Grain

Higher ISO = More Grain

Thanks so much for tuning in! This was the final part of the Exposure trifecta: Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO. In normal light situations, I like to keep the ISO as low as possible (around ISO 200) to avoid a grainy photo. However, in low light situations, such as the examples above, I’ll have to turn the ISO up at times in order to capture a photo without too much motion blur. These are the fundamentals of how to control light in your photographs. Be sure to tune into Composition and Lighting to begin taking some awesome pictures!

Panda Travel Signature.png
 

Exposure Part 2: Shutter Speed

In the previous post, I mention that photography is the art of capturing light. Again, there’s 3 fundamental ways on how to control the amount of light to get your desired photo: Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO. We learned about the first part of the Exposure trifecta: Aperture. Part 2 of the Exposure series focuses on Shutter Speed using images I've captured at a concert shoot for Half the Animal.

Shutter Speed 

Effects on Your Photo: Shutter Speed allows you to capture movement or to freeze movement:

 Fast Shutter Speed = Freeze Movement

Fast Shutter Speed = Freeze Movement

 Slow Shutter Speed = Capture Movement

Slow Shutter Speed = Capture Movement

Effects on the Camera: When you capture a photo, you can control how movement in your photo is captured by setting how long the shutter in your lens is open.

Exposure_Part 23.jpg
Exposure_Part 24.jpg

How it Works: Set your camera in Shutter Priority Mode to play around with the effects of a Fast Shutter Speed vs. a Slow Shutter Speed. Aperture is measured in seconds and fractions of a second. From a super quick 1/1000 of a second, to a more standard 1/60 of a second, to a slower 30 seconds. The slower the shutter speed, the more likely you’ll need a tripod or a sturdy surface to rest your camera on to avoid camera shake.

Exposure_Part 25.jpg
Exposure_Part 26.jpg
 Shutter Speed at 10 Seconds

Shutter Speed at 10 Seconds

 Shutter Speed at 30 Seconds

Shutter Speed at 30 Seconds

Shutter Speed is one of the most fun things to play with on a camera. It was something that first got me intrigued with how a camera worked. Just remember, Shutter Speed is part of the Exposure trifecta: Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO. You’ll notice that in Shutter Priority Mode, your camera will automatically adjust the Aperture and ISO when you set the Shutter Speed. To have even more control, you can set your camera to Manual mode to manually control all three. After my next post on ISO, you’ll be ready for that. In the meantime, Happy Travels!

Panda Travel Signature.png
 

 

 

Exposure Part 1: Aperture

Hi! Getting into photography, you’ll probably hear the term Exposure quite a bit. What is it? In photography, exposure is a term to describe the amount of light you’re allowing to reach the film or sensor. Recalling the diagram below from Part 1 of the Lighting Series, in a very simple way it shows how light travels through your camera lens to hit the film or sensor in the camera body. In a way, photography is the art of capturing light. There’s 3 fundamental ways on how to control the amount of light to get your desired photo: Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO. These 3 things work together to create a photo. Part 1 of the Exposure series focuses on Aperture.

Lighting_Part13.jpg

Aperture 

Effects on Your Photo: Aperture allows you to control how blurry things are around your subject:

 Subject in Focus with Blurry Background

Subject in Focus with Blurry Background

 Everything in Focus

Everything in Focus

Effects on the Camera: You can control how blurry things are around your subject by setting a wide aperture (more blurry) vs. a narrow aperture (less blurry). The hole in your lens that allows light to come through, becomes larger for a wide aperture and becomes smaller for a narrow aperture.

Exposure_Part 13.jpg
Exposure_Part 14.jpg

How it Works: To manually control the Aperture, set your camera in Aperture Priority Mode. Aperture is measured in F Stops. Your camera shows you what your current aperture is by displaying a number after the “f”: f2, f5.6, f8, etc. One thing that’s a bit tricky is the wider the aperture, the smaller the number and vice versa. For example:

Exposure_Part 15.jpg
Exposure_Part 16.jpg

Remember when I said Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO work together? Since you’re on Aperture Priority Mode, your camera is allowing you to manually control the Aperture, while automatically setting the Shutter Speed and ISO for you.

You’ll also notice that if you’re shooting the same photo, with a Wide Aperture, the faster the shutter speed will be and vice versa for a narrow aperture. Why is this? Remember what Aperture is doing to the lens. A Wide Aperture creates a larger hole for light to come through the lens. Since more light is coming in, the shutter speed will have to be faster in order for your subject to be in focus.

Just remember:

Wide Aperture = Smaller Number F Stop = Subject in focus, everything else blurry.

Narrow Aperture = Larger Number F Stop = Everything in focus.

In 2 weeks, I’ll be posting about Shutter Speed. In the meantime, Happy Travels!

Panda Travel Signature.png