ISO: In Search Of The Meaning

In my last post I addressed Aperture, the first of three main settings on your camera. Today we’re looking at ISO, or International Standards Organization. ISO is the standard for which light is measured. I know, nice and vague!

The ISO setting controls the sensitivity of available light your camera will register. The lower the number (say, 200) translates into less light sensitivity (or a darker image). The higher the number (say 1600) translates into more light sensitivity (or a brighter image). However, when you raise the ISO you also increase the noise (the grainy appearance some images have). ISO is typically the last of the three settings you will adjust. Depending on what you’re photographing, you will either set your Aperture or Shutter Speed first, the other of those two second, and ISO last. Generally, if you’re outside on a sunny day you don’t need more light added to the image. An ISO setting of 100 or 200 should be fine. However, if you’re inside without an abundance of light you may need to raise your ISO to 800 or 1600. Remember, when you raise your ISO two things happen: more light, and more noise. It’s best to only raise your ISO when you can’t achieve the desired image without adjusting your Aperture and Shutter Speed.

In my next post I’ll address Shutter Speed, which is the last of the three main settings to understand when you’re ready to move into manual mode.

Terri Johnson, Owner, Plumb Pixel Photography
The Right Angle Matters


About Plumb Pixel Photography

Hi, I’m Terri Johnson and I own Plumb Pixel Photography. I have a background in landscape photography, and I’ve spent the past few years working as a Photographer for a local Real Estate Agent. My dream has always been to be a Photographer, and in in early 2015 I began Plumb Pixel Photography. My emphasis is in Residential and Commercial Real Estate Photography. It’s hard to say what sparked my love of photography. It could have been the toy camera I had as a child, or growing up around avid photographers. Either way, what started out as an idea soon turned into my dream profession. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have, or to discuss setting up an appointment.
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