What ISO Do I Use, Helpful Photography Tips From Saint John Photographer Miranda O’Leary.

What ISO do I use?  Helpful Photography Tips From Saint John Photographer Miranda O’Leary.

I asked some of my Saint John Photographer followers what they would like tips on when trying to figure out their camera.

“What ISO do I use?” came up and I think it’s a good one to cover on my Saint John Photographer blog post this week.

ISO settings vary with cameras. A “point and shoot” camera will not be able to handle the same high ISO setting a pro camera can to maintain a good quality picture. But my focus will be on “point and shoot” style today as this is what most people have and will be a more valuable and helpful photography tip. And yes, even I still have one and use it often.

The problem you can run into when using a high ISO is that the picture can look to have a graininess to it. Here is an example of the same picture using different ISO’s.

So, the lower the ISO number ( ISO 100), the less sensitive the camera sensor it is to light. I would use this setting, or lower, depending on your camera when there is lots of light around you to work with.

The higher the ISO number ( ISO 800), the more sensitive the camera sensor becomes to light. This could be used when you have very low light conditions. A dark room usually requires you to bump up your ISO.

There are other ways to allow more light into your camera. Lowering your shutter speed or increasing your aperture also allow more light into the camera.

Questions this Saint John Photographer asks herself when trying to decide on the ISO to use:

• Can I put the camera on a tripod? – If you can it will make it easier for you to lower your shutter speed to let more light in without the risk of shaking the camera.  It will also save you from a high ISO graininess. This is ideal when shooting still life. If the subject is moving don’t lower you shutter to low or you will have the subjects blurring.

• Can you get more light into the area? -A helpful photography tip is to look around your surroundings. Can you go closer to a window, turn on a few more lights, or use a flash?  Adding more light can often help and sometimes eliminates the need for you to increase your ISO.

• How big of an image do I need to print? – When looking at the back of your LCD screen you may not notice the noise or graininess in your image because it’s small but with a higher ISO.  But, once you enlarge the image on your computer screen, or print a enlarged size,  you may notice the noise.  If you plan on keeping the print size small then you will not notice the graininess as much.

For the clearest shots it’s definitely best to keep your ISO low, but, photography conditions do not always allow for that. I love working in manual mode as it opens up your range in shooting so much more. Many are scared but it can be lots of fun!

I hope you enjoyed this weeks helpful photography tips.  If you have any other blog requests please leave a comment and your question may be answered next. Also, if you’re due for a portrait session, have an upcoming wedding, are expecting a new arrival or anything else, don’t forget to give me a call to set up a time.

Have a great week everyone,

Miranda O’Leary





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