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Learn By Doing Photography

Learn by Doing Photography – Understanding your ISO

Learn by Doing Photography – Practice your photography skills with weekly photography assignments. I will post a new assignment every Friday, you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on the DigitalCamFan Facebook. If you have any questions please refer to the guidelines, if you have no questions jump right in any time!

Photography Assignment #2 – Take two pictures one with your ISO at 100 and the other with your ISO as high as your camera will go and see what the difference is.

This is how I did it – I set my camera to aperture priority, ISO 100 to start with. Since I am on aperture priority the camera picked the shutter speed. For the next picture I simply changed my ISO to 6400 and took the next picture, and last I did ISO 12800.

You can really see what a difference the ISO makes when it comes to the noise factor. I am not saying one is better than the other because I like them both for different reasons!


ISO 100 is for those nice crisp shots when there is plenty of light to go around. When you raise your ISO, you can shoot at a higher shutter speed or a smaller aperture.

The number 1 place I raise my ISO is concerts. I don’t like to use flash in that situation, and I am already wide open so the only thing left to do is crank up that ISO so I can hand hold the camera. In the end I like the grainy quality the photos have. Creatively you have to decide what you want…

Some situations you might have to raise your ISO:

1. concert / band photography
2. indoors
3. if you don’t want to use your flash, but need that extra bit of umph
4. Because creatively you love the grainy quality.

You just need to understand that if you crank up your ISO to the maximum your camera can handle, you will end up with noise.  Is that always a bad thing? I don’t think so. Like I said sometimes I like it, but when I am taking pictures of my kids baking cookies or something in a low light kitchen I would rather not have the photo packed full of noise. The beauty of being in manual and having control over you picture is… you get to decide!

Oh my… this is a great explanation on ISO. If you’re still trying to grasp what your ISO does, this is the video for you! Nice Job, JaredPolin!

Below are the original pictures I took for this weeks assignment:

3.2 sec @ f/3.2 ISO 100



1/20 sec @ f/3.2 ISO 6400



1/40 sec @ f/3.2 ISO 12800


Next Week Learn by Doing Assignment #3 – Freezing Time with a Fast Shutter Speed

Related posts:

Panning Photography - LBD Photography
Understanding your ISO - Learn by Doing Photography
Learn by Doing Photography - Shallow Depth of Field


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