Photography Tips: What is ISO (and how the heck do you use it?) || The Authentic Portrait

There sure are a lot of acronyms to deal with when working in digital photography, amirite? So, this time, ISO.

A little preface: ISO goes along with the posts on aperture and shutter speed

ISO is the sensitivity of your camera to available light. The lower you keep the ISO the less sensitive it is to the light and the other way around. 

 1/250th sec || f 1.8 || ISO 800

1/250th sec || f 1.8 || ISO 800

 1/1600th sec || f 2.2 || ISO 100

1/1600th sec || f 2.2 || ISO 100

AKA in really simple terms, the higher the ISO the BRIGHTER the photo will be. The lower the ISO the DARKER your photo will be. BUT, the higher the ISO, the grain and focus will be worse so ideally, we keep the ISO low and use it as a last resort if we are in locations with low light (like indoors). Personally I keep my ISO at 100 and during shoots will go up to about ISO800 if the sun is going down and I need more light in my photos. 

Easy trick: if you're photographing somewhere indoor or outdoor and there is not much light you can switch your ISO a few stops up in order to catch more of the natural light available.

 

This is just one of the solid, easy to implement tips and tricks for photography that I talk about in The Authentic Portrait: A Parent’s guide to Documenting Childhood, an ebook perfect for anyone who want to learn the basics of photography and improve their photos without spending hours and hours taking classes. Find out more here!

Play around with your ISO and let's see how the photos turn out! Share them with me over on Instagram in #TheAuthenticPortrait series, a series for learning and growing in photography.  Don’t forget to tag your photos with #TheAuthenticPortrait!