Weekly Photography Tip #2

After a few days hiatus here on the blog (just been busy lately), i’m back with another photography tip.  I posted last Monday about White Balance.  If you’re wondering why a blue, orange or any color tint is dominating a digital photograph you take, you can check out how to fix it here

This weeks topic:  ISO, or as film photographers called it, APA. 

ISO or APA is the setting on the camera for “film” speed and is the measure of the camera’s sensitivity to light.  You probably remember when you used film and there was a number on the box, aside from the number of exposures, of 100, 200, 400 or 800.  This is the film speed.  100 and 200 ISO/APA is good for bright, sunny outdoor photographs while 400 and 800 is good for cloudy, darker and more motion photographs.  The higher the ISO/ASA, the more light the camera captures to produce a lighter photograph. 

So on your digital camera, check the menu settings for ISO.  Usually it’ll list at least 200, 400 and 800 – sometimes 100 and 600 are there too.  Try setting the ISO at 200 and take a picture of a shadowy or darker area.  Then set the ISO to 400 or 800 and take the picture.  You should be able to see the light difference.  Just be careful of higher ISO settings on older digital cameras because sometimes they can look grainy and not as clear.  Usually ISO 400 works well for me. 

There also may be a shortcut button to set the ISO on your camera without having to go into the full menu.  Just check your manual to see if your camera has one.  This makes it easier to change this setting quickly between photos. 

And just a last note, adjusting just the ISO can help make a darker photograph a little lighter or capture a motion photo a little better but there also are other settings that can be done to accompany this.  Only adjusting the ISO may not be enough depending on the situation.   I’ll be touching on those things within the following weeks. 

These first two items i’ve touched on, White Balance and ISO settings, are easy to fix and should be fairly easy to figure out on your camera.  Both of these things are what i’ve started to pay attention to the most.  These are some basic tasks to make your photographs better than they already are!



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9 responses to “Weekly Photography Tip #2

  1. I always wondered what that setting was on my dial. You’d think I’d read the instruction manual…but nah …I just start clicking away. And it shows!!! At least now I can say I know one thing about photography! Thanks for the tip

  2. I am glad you are going over this. I’ve always wanted to be a better photographer and have never understood what the buttons on my camera mean…

    Always thought that maybe one day I’d take a photography class…

  3. Yay cuz, awesome tip! I need to learn about photography…you rock to share! Can’t wait to see ya this weekend…woo hoo!

    Jamie 🙂

  4. I didn’t see the first tip, but I am going back to look. I took a photography class awhile back, but I have forgotten a lot. I have a new digital, so I am trying to remember everything. I just fully switched to digital. I have had a point and shoot, but just recently got a Nikon D90.

  5. Dee

    oh fantastic! I got a cannon rebel about a year ago and I STILL forget to adjust the ISO sometimes! Cant wait to see the post on your tips on capturing motion pictures better!

    Oh and thanks so much for stopping by my blog from SITS! Yours is great!

  6. I love these … .thank you!

  7. All that stuff is over my head. Probably would be like if I told you about barrel racing. But I love the photo you put up top! Very cool.


  8. i am really enjoying these, quick bursts of reminders as i continue learning. thank you.

  9. Pingback: Weekly Photography Tip #3 « Hello/Sweet/World’s Weblog

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