Wk 4 – ISO

Week 4: ISO
Posted on: Wednesday, 30 September 2015 16:42:00 o’clock EST

Hi all,

Below is a summary of this week’s class!

You can view the slide show presentation here: https://www.zeetings.com/lachlanpayne/8426-0001


Nationality: American

Born: February 20, 1902

Died: April 22, 1984 (aged 82)

Profile: Photographer and environmentalist revered for his black-and-white landscape photographs and his commitment to conservation.

Known for: Iconic images of the American West, including Yosemite National Park.

Quote: “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”


Freedom Ride ’65: unpublished photos from the Tribune archive

Visit the Freedom Ride ’65 exhibition at the State Library of NSW and, after spending time viewing each of the images, choose at least one which appeals to you. (Alternatively, you may choose one which doesn’t appeal to you!)

Take a snapshot of your selected image(s) with your phone, post to your blog and discuss your reasons for liking/disliking the photograph(s).

Royal Botanical Gardens

Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens, across the road from the State Library, and practice what you have learnt about composition, aperture, shutter speed and ISO by capturing images of the plant life, and/or architecture.

Post selected images to your blog and discuss your results.


The exposure triangle.

A photograph’s exposure, as captured by your camera, determines how light or dark an image will appear. The three fundamental elements of exposure are aperture, shutter speed and ISO, which together make up what we call the exposure triangle.

These three elements form the foundation of successful photography.

Today we will look at the third and final element of the exposure triangle: ISO.

What is ISO?

ISO refers to the level of sensitivity of your camera to available light.

In traditional/film photography, ISO was the indication of how sensitive a film was to light.

In digital photography, ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor.

How is ISO measured?

ISO is measured using the following numbers:

The lower the ISO, the less sensitive your camera’s sensor is to light, while a higher ISO increases its sensitivity.

Each number represents a ‘stop’.

Like shutter speed, these increments either half or double the sensitivity. So, every time you double the ISO setting, you halve the required exposure time, and vice versa.

ISO 100 is the standard in both film and digital (although for many Nikon cameras it will be 200).

How does ISO affect my images?

A higher ISO setting makes your sensor more sensitive to light, meaning that you can take photos in darker conditions without the need to use a flash or a tripod.

However, increasing your camera’s ISO comes at a cost — it also increases the amount of digital noise present in your photo, reducing the image quality.

Noise is the digital equivalent of film grain, and it shows up as lots of tiny coloured dots, which are particularly noticeable in the darker areas of your photo.

Which ISO should I choose?

Generally, you should always aim to use the lowest ISO setting possible, because this will give you the best image quality.

The lowest ISO on DSLR cameras is 100 (or 200 on some Nikons), a setting with good contrast and fine detail.

Characteristics of low ISO:

Low number
Fine grain
High contrast
Maximum image quality
Characteristics of high ISO:

High number
Large grain/noisy
Low contrast
Reduced image quality
When should I choose a high ISO?

When there is not enough light for you to capture a sharp image.
When you want to intentionally introduce noise/grain in to your image for creative effect.
Possible scenarios might include sporting events held indoor or at night, concerts, galleries and long exposure photos of the night sky.

Does ISO affect my aperture and shutter speed?


Capturing a correct exposure is a balancing act between shutter speed, aperture and ISO. As one increases, one (or both) of the other two settings must decrease to maintain the same exposure level, and vice versa.

A brief summary of the three fundamentals of exposure.

Aperture controls depth of field (the area in focus).
Shutter speed freezes or blurs movement and motion.
ISO refers to the light sensitivity of the camera’s sensor.

Let’s start with the basics:

Set the image quality on your camera to RAW
Change your picture setting to Monochrome/Black and White
On your mode dial, select Program: P.
Today we will be manually setting the ISO and allowing the camera to automatically set the aperture and shutter speed using Program mode.

Next, get in to groups of 2-3 and complete the following exercises.

Capture either a staged or candid portrait using each of the following three ISO settings (or similar): 100, 400, 3200.
Find an area of low light — either indoors, underground or in full shade — and take an image of your choice using each of the following three ISO settings (or similar): 100, 400, 3200.
Find an area of ample light, preferably full sunlight, and take an image of your choice using each of the following three ISO settings (or similar): 100, 400, 3200.
Return to class and share your results!

Post your summary of today’s lesson, along with your images, results and thoughts to your blog.

In addition, publish a separate blog post relating to today’s excursion to the State Library exhibition and Botanical Gardens.



The Ansel Adams Gallery http://www.anseladams.com/

Ansel Adams Biography http://www.biography.com/people/ansel-adams-9175697

Ansel Adams https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/sets/72157623296214442/


Understanding ISO – A Beginner’s Guide https://photographylife.com/what-is-iso-in-photography

ISO Settings in Digital Photography http://digital-photography-school.com/iso-settings/

WHAT IS ISO SPEED? http://www.photographymad.com/pages/view/what-is-iso-speed-setting

Photography Basics: ISO http://www.photographybay.com/2010/08/28/photography-basics-iso/

A Simple Explanation of ISO for Digital Photography and Video https://youtu.be/WEApLA-YNko


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