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Tuesday’s Tip – ISO or Sensitivity

This week’s tutorial is about ISO or film speed or sensitivity or ASA… There’s lots of names for “how sensitive your camera’s sensor is to light.” Most cameras have a sensitivity of either 100 or 200 ISO as their normal sensitivity. You can increase the sensitivity of your camera, which allows the ability to photography in low light, but as always, there is a cost. Digital noise is the cost. Ideally you want to make photographs at the lowest ISO number possible. (You can see the first two installments of this series here or here)

Here’s a quick side by side of what noise from increased ISO looks like. On the left is what an image looks like at a low ISO and on the right is what the same image looks like at a high ISO.

noise

Put simply, noise reduces contrast, and reduces fine details. If you’re close enough to your subject, it might look ok, as it softens skin tones. If your subject is too far away it will make them look “blurry.” My best advice, keep your ISO as low as you can. There are better ways to shoot in low light but that’s for next week…

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