Practising: ISO

31st December 2013

What have I done?

I have photographed a series of portraits, to show the effects on an image as the ISO is adjusted throughout the scale.

What have I got from it?

I have noticed that the lower the ISO, the less grain/noise is recorded on the image. Depending on what ‘look’ one wants from their photography – whether it be moody and grainy, mysterious OR clean, clear and soft/pure – the ISO is the setting to play with. I think each end of the spectrum can look just as good when used in the right scene. Me personally, I like the ‘pure’ ‘clean and clear’ look to my images – maximising the detail recorded. Grainy/noisey or smudgy images make my eyes go funny and I find them difficult to make out.

What’s next?

I want to always aim to set the correct ISO for each scene and be dedicated to creating a particular look, an intention, to each of my images. To master this technique.


ISO-100 ISO 100. You can see the detail a lot more, the point of focus is more visible (and because ISO 100 would be dark without using a larger aperture, the image is softer around the edges as it drops out of focus, a result of using f4).

ISO-100-2 << 100% crop. ISO 100.

Another example at ISO 200:

ISO200 << Original image,  ISO200-2 << 100% crop

ISO-6400 ISO 6400. The image as a whole looks a little sharper as a result of the use of a smaller aperture,  however when cropped at 100% the image looks smudgy/murky, less defined and you can see the noise the higher ISO has created.

ISO-6400-2 << 100% crop. ISO 6400

Another example at ISO 6400

ISO6400<< Original Image, ISO6400-2<< 100% crop

ISO in context

In regular, bright day light (or using flash as I tried out here) ISO 100 would be used because natural light has no problem flowing into the sensor, resulting in a lot of detail and clarity,

IW9B9520-01RESIZED IW9B9520-01RESIZEDcrop

However at night the ISO has to be bumped up so the sensor get’s as much light in as possible. This results in a lot of noise and less definition.

ISO3200resized ISO3200resizedcrop 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: