Understanding ISO in photography – one part of the exposure triangle.

Photography is an art form that has evolved over time with the advancement of technology. One of the essential aspects of photography is ISO, which determines the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor to light. ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization, which sets the standard for sensitivity ratings in photography.

In this short post we will discuss what ISO is and how it works and categorize it into three categories: basic, in-depth, and advanced understanding.

Firstly three images .. starting from 100 in picture one 3200 in picture 2 and 6400 in picture three. to see the way images have less detail and also more noise the higher the ISO

Image 1 shot at ISO 100 – Nikon 7200
Image 2 shot at ISO 3200 – Nikon 7200
Image 3 shot at ISO 6400 Nikon 7200

Basic understanding of ISO:

ISO is a measure of the camera’s sensitivity to light. The lower the ISO number, the less sensitive the camera is to light, and the higher the number, the more sensitive it is. In simple terms, ISO determines how bright or dark an image will appear. For instance, a low ISO number of 100 will produce a darker image, while a higher ISO number of 800 will produce a brighter image.

In-depth understanding of ISO:

ISO is one of the three essential elements of exposure, along with aperture and shutter speed. Aperture refers to the size of the opening in the lens that allows light to enter, while shutter speed is the duration of time the shutter remains open. ISO plays a vital role in exposure because it allows the photographer to adjust the camera’s sensitivity to light to achieve the desired exposure.

A low ISO setting is ideal for shooting in bright conditions, such as outdoors on a sunny day. On the other hand, a high ISO setting is suitable for shooting in low light conditions, such as indoors or at night. However, a high ISO setting can introduce digital noise or graininess to an image, which can result in a loss of detail and clarity. It’s essential to strike a balance between the ISO setting, aperture, and shutter speed to achieve the best exposure and image quality.

Advanced understanding of ISO:

In addition to its role in exposure, ISO can also affect the overall mood and style of an image. A low ISO setting can produce a sharper and cleaner image with less noise, while a high ISO setting can create a grainy or gritty look, which can be desirable in certain types of photography, such as street or documentary photography.

Another advanced technique is ISO bracketing, which involves taking multiple shots of the same scene with different ISO settings. This technique is useful for capturing images in unpredictable lighting conditions, such as during a sunset or sunrise, where the light changes quickly. By taking multiple shots at different ISO settings, the photographer can choose the best exposure and eliminate any unwanted noise or graininess.

In conclusion, ISO is an essential aspect of photography that determines the camera’s sensitivity to light. It plays a vital role in exposure, image quality, and overall style and mood of an image. Understanding the basic, in-depth, and advanced aspects of ISO can help photographers make informed decisions when setting up their camera and capturing their vision.

This is part of basic learning with photography. There are more technical details to iso but I don’t want these posts to resemble a ikea instruction manual lol! And more make it a simple understandable read.