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Old April 5th, 2009, 08:48 AM
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newlove newlove is offline
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Assignment #5: ISO

Iso is an exposure index rating as per the International Organization of Standardization
(even if the initials are a bit backwards they named iso after these guys because a bunch of them actually gathered and put together an arithmetic and logarithmic scale to measure film and sensor speed sensitivity, so they deserve a round of applause):

However, let’s go basic and say iso is the sensitivity of your sensor or film to light.

In film, the iso rating is part of the film. So if you were to buy 35mm film you’d have to figure out what type of lighting situation you’d be in then buy the appropriate film grade (100, 200, 400, 800 - I’m not sure if film went any higher…experts?).

Digital cameras have the iso built into the sensor.

The numbers equate to sensitivity. Higher iso numbers would have greater sensitivity and lower iso numbers would have less sensitivity. So if you shoot on a sunny bright day you would want an iso that is less sensitive to light (a lower number like 100) or an overexposure might occur, and in low lighting situations like a dimly lit room you’d want an iso that is much more sensitive light (higher numbers like 400) or an underexposure might occur.

Think of it in Bryan Peterson’s terms:

More ‘worker bees’ = more light gathered
Less ‘worker bees’ = less light gathered

Here is a related article Lee123 put together for the Corner. He further illustrates the effects of changing your iso settings in low light conditions and is definitely worth the read!

There isn't an assignment with this one, the only thing I'd like you to do is work your triangle to get the best exposure for your image and post your outcome if you'd like!

So, now you have everything you need to control your light:

Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO

And, they all work hand in hand to help you control light so that you can get the best images possible…

Keep in mind: if one of these factors is off your image will not be the best it can be!

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Last edited by newlove; April 14th, 2009 at 04:25 PM.
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Old April 5th, 2009, 01:45 PM
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Reeflections Reeflections is offline
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Re: Assignment #5: ISO

In my underwater workshops, use two K.I.S.S. rules to explain how to use ISO:

1) Set your ISO to the lowest number (not auto ISO) your camera offers and leave it there until you are in a situation where there is so little light that there is no other way to get the shutter speed and aperture settings you want to use.

2) When you do need to use that higher ISO, don't forget to turn it back down to the lowest number as soon as you are done. You may easily forget to turn it down the next time you use the camera and don't want it.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 08:29 AM
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Re: Assignment #5: ISO

Mike, this is a great tip!! I, too, try hard to shoot this way but sometimes there is a real need to up the iso and I almost always hate it when I do!! Thanks for posting!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reeflections View Post
In my underwater workshops, use two K.I.S.S. rules to explain how to use ISO:

1) Set your ISO to the lowest number (not auto ISO) your camera offers and leave it there until you are in a situation where there is so little light that there is no other way to get the shutter speed and aperture settings you want to use.

2) When you do need to use that higher ISO, don't forget to turn it back down to the lowest number as soon as you are done. You may easily forget to turn it down the next time you use the camera and don't want it.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 11:06 AM
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Scott111184 Scott111184 is offline
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Re: Assignment #5: ISO

Great info so far and thanks everyone!

I would also like to add... the best way to minimize noise is to get the correct exposure. Noise will hang out more in the darker areas than anywhere else so if you have to in some way brighten the image (this is where RAW helps) in PP than the noise will be more pronounced. Here is an image I took the other night... baseball game + night time = high ISO. I was already at the largest available aperture which was f/2.8 so I scrolled through the ISO range to see what allowed me to attain the shutter speed I wanted. I didn't need to stop a ball in flight so when I reached a ss of 1/250th I knew that would suffice. I ended up using ISO 1250, which the 30D isn't supposed to handle very well but as you can see, getting the exposure correct without having to alter the brightness or shadows in PP helps drastically.

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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:17 PM
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Re: Assignment #5: ISO

Thanks for this Scott! I almost never get really good results in higher iso's with my current camera...I do believe my model is in the bottom pile when it comes to iso quality so I'm eagerly saving for better equipment.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:18 PM
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Re: Assignment #5: ISO

Quote:
I would also like to add... the best way to minimize noise is to get the correct exposure. Noise will hang out more in the darker areas than anywhere else so if you have to in some way brighten the image (this is where RAW helps) in PP than the noise will be more pronounced. Here is an image I took the other night... baseball game + night time = high ISO. I was already at the largest available aperture which was f/2.8 so I scrolled through the ISO range to see what allowed me to attain the shutter speed I wanted. I didn't need to stop a ball in flight so when I reached a ss of 1/250th I knew that would suffice. I ended up using ISO 1250, which the 30D isn't supposed to handle very well but as you can see, getting the exposure correct without having to alter the brightness or shadows in PP helps drastically.
Thanks for sharing both ISO pointers and your example photo. Nice Capture!
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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:52 PM
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Re: Assignment #5: ISO

Quote:
Originally Posted by newlove View Post
Thanks for this Scott! I almost never get really good results in higher iso's with my current camera...I do believe my model is in the bottom pile when it comes to iso quality so I'm eagerly saving for better equipment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrameofMind View Post
Thanks for sharing both ISO pointers and your example photo. Nice Capture!
You both are very welcome, any way I can help.

Lise: Hopefully around this time next year I will be picking up a better body. Until then I have to make this one work.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 08:59 PM
dfyffe dfyffe is offline
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Re: Assignment #5: ISO

I posted my first 5 lessons at http://www.photographycorner.com/gal...ry.php?cat=523 I hope that is ok and I hope you like them. I have already learned for than I did know. Getting that exposure dead center is difficult, but that should end my over and under exposure issues. Thanks so much
  #9    Top
Old April 18th, 2009, 10:01 AM
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newlove newlove is offline
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Re: Assignment #5: ISO

I am so happy you got to these and posted your outcomes!! I'm so excited that these are helping others out. Your images are great starting points and some look pretty good...the only thing I am going to say in general and probably should mention this in all the lessons is:

The slower your shutter speed the more need for a tripod.

Camera shake is one of the biggest problems in the beginning. There will always be camera shake in a handheld shot but the faster the camera takes the picture (fast shutter speed) less are the chances that your image will be blurry. If your subject/object is stationary a speed of 1/80 (possibly 1/60 depending how steady your hand is) is a safe(ish) area to handhold, any speeds lower than this you will get blur, it's just the nature of the mechanism and there is no way around it other than to stabilize your camera.

I would try your lower speed images again but this time place your camera on a tripod or a sturdy surface like a table or chair then set your exposure and take the picture. For an even sharper image, set your shutter release on timer and let the camera do the work of capturing your image. I believe you will get much better results, and you will find that your lighting will even out some too.

I hope you'll retry these and post, I'd love to see your progress!


Quote:
Originally Posted by dfyffe View Post
I posted my first 5 lessons at http://www.photographycorner.com/gal...ry.php?cat=523 I hope that is ok and I hope you like them. I have already learned for than I did know. Getting that exposure dead center is difficult, but that should end my over and under exposure issues. Thanks so much
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Old April 18th, 2009, 10:22 AM
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Scott111184 Scott111184 is offline
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Re: Assignment #5: ISO

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfyffe View Post
I posted my first 5 lessons at http://www.photographycorner.com/gal...ry.php?cat=523 I hope that is ok and I hope you like them. I have already learned for than I did know. Getting that exposure dead center is difficult, but that should end my over and under exposure issues. Thanks so much
Thanks for participating and posting a link to the images.

I will add one more this since Lise mentioned using a tripod and shutter release. Using MLU (mirror lock up) will also help with slight vibrations when shooting macro and such. It's really not a factor and no point of using it if you are not using a tripod, shutter release or your shutter speed is over 1/60th(ish) of a sec.
MLU is a function on most DSLR that when activated will lock the mirror in the upward position before capturing the image to eliminate the vibration from the movement of the shutter. When using it, the first press of the shutter button will raise the mirror, give it a few seconds after that than press the shutter button (shutter release) again. After that the shutter will return back to normal position. The MLU function is not capable unless you have a shutter release cable because the shutter button needs to be pressed twice. You can do a search on eBay with your camera make and model. I picked one up for my 30D for about $10 with shipping from Hong Kong and has worked great so far. It will explain in your manual on how to activate and use this feature.
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