“I find the light and work it, work it, work it.” – Janice Dickinson
How will this lesson help you?
Following these easy steps will help you to control light and expose your photos correctly by using the best settings for ISO and White Balance.
Ways of controlling light are;
In this lesson we will learn about ISO and White Balance.
Part 1 ISO
The ISO setting controls the sensitivity of the sensor to light. The term goes back to the days of film when different emulsions were put on the film to make it more or less light sensitive and the International Standards Organization set the standard for the different emulsions so they were the same world wide.
This has now been transferred to digital capture.
The starting point for most digital cameras is usually ISO 200 although you can find some cameras that go lower than this.
Check your camera’s instruction book to see the setting it recommends. Remember you can ‘Google’ the instruction book by entering the name and model number of your camera if you have misplaced the book.
ISO settings double as they go up (200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 etc.) In the days of film to make an emulsion more light sensitive the grain had to be bigger and so the higher the ISO setting the more ‘grain’ which means that the photo was not as ‘sharp’ and when you enlarged the photo it was not as ‘smooth’.In most cameras once you get past ISO 800 you can start to notice the grain when you enlarge your file up to 100%. But if you have the choice of a little grain because you have a high ISO or blurry photos because your shutter speed is too slow to hand hold then it is better to increase your ISO.
Of course using a tripod gets rid of the need to increase your ISO setting but you do not always have a tripod with you.
In This Lesson You Will;
This lesson should take about 30 minutes but remember the more time you spend the better you get.
Before you do this lesson make sure you have printed and put into your Photography Journal the photos from Eclass 1, 2, 3 and 4. You are building a wonderful reference for yourself.
- A Smart Phone Camera OR a Compact Camera OR an SLR camera with a medium telephoto lens.
- Your camera’s instruction book
|Notice The ISO setting for this photo was 3200 and if enlarged you can see the grain.
|Notice. The ISO setting for this photo was 125 and the grain when the photo is enlarged is much less visible.|
Part 2. White Balance
Some of the White Balance settings found in cameras are;
This is where the camera works out what it thinks the setting should be. It is better than having no setting at all but it is not always as accurate as the individual settings.
These are the normal lighting conditions.
Shade gives a slightly blue color cast.
This White Balance setting gives a slightly warmer color
This changes the cooler blue look to a slightly warmer one.
Is normally shown as a small light bulb and is used for indoor photography, especially when the bulb lights are turned on.
Fluorescent light is slightly redder than daylight.
Bright Flash light is cooler than daylight and needs to have the White balance setting adjusted.
All cameras are slightly different so the best way to find out how your camera uses these settings is to experiment with them in a controlled way so that you know the results to expect when you use them.
- Find a subject, either a still life or a model.
- In your camera’s instruction book find how to change the White Balance Settings for SLRs, compacts and smart phones.
- From the same position indoors take photos of your subject using all the different white balance settings.
- Take your subject outdoors, place it in direct sunlight and take photos using the different White Balance settings.
- Place your subject in shade and take photos using all the White balance settings.
- Download and Print off your photos.
- Paste the photos you have taken on a sheet of A4 paper and place them in your folder.
- Under each photo write a comment, do you like the result? What is it about the photo you like? What will you do differently next time?
Photo Speak – Special photography words used in this lesson
grain – is the effect of using high ISO settings, when your photo is enlarged to 100% you can see a ,roughness,
ISO – the setting controlling how light sensitive the sensor is.
Sharp- clear, well defined focus, the opposite of soft
soft- not in focus properly, the opposite of sharp
White Balance – this is the setting controlling the color temperature
Congratulations on finishing Lesson !!! Give Yourself A Treat!
You Can Now Use ISO and White Balance settings
This is the next step in your Photographic Journey to Success. Paste your photos on the page below and comment on your results.
To keep following this path set aside a regular time slot in your week so you can get the best results for your efforts.