Quick Tip: Boost your ISO to capture more light
In my prior article I talked about getting faster glass so you can use a wider aperture to capture more light. Unfortunately, fast glass costs money, but you do have an option. In the film days, film came with ratings that indicated among other things the films sensitivity to light. If you were shooting in bright sun you’d use a lower rated film than if you were shooting in low light situations. In fact, if you’ve been to a wedding recently that had those little cameras on all the tables, they were the current incarnation of this. Check the specs and you might see they list ISO 800 on the box. A full discussion on ISO will come shortly, for now, here’s the basic tip.
The brighter the location, the lower the ISO to use. The darker it is, the higher the ISO to use.
So, shooting outdoors use ISO 100 or 200, indoors try 400, 800 or even 1600. You’ll capture more of the backgrounds.
So, why all the different ISO’s? Why not just use one in the middle and work around it? The higher ISO’s come with a price, grainyness or noise. While they are more sensitive, they also add what I call a fuzziness and softness to your shot. The lower ISO’s tend to be clearer, sharper and more vibrant in their colors.
Each camera’s different, and many newer cameras have greatly improved their image quality at higher ISO’s though, so experiment and see how well yours does.