Yellow Flowers and a Final Word on ISO (Three Photographs)

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The important issue with ISO is to only raise it when needed, e.g. if you need a higher shutter speed, a smaller aperture, or the light is insufficient. Some of my Nikon nature photos could not be taken without high ISOs. With my Fuji for street photography, I am also using Auto-ISO (though a smaller range), because shooting people on the street does not provide much opportunity for adjusting settings. Some time ago I heard about street photographers who put their cameras in P mode and others who set aperture and shutter speed in manual and then took shots at different ISOs (in other words bracketing their exposures). There are many approaches to handling exposure settings in most modern cameras, and there is useful automation to try out as well as the potential for a series of approaches depending on the subject of the photography. But I am convinced that Auto-ISO is becoming more useful.



13 responses

  1. Thank s- there are a lot of hang ups about using auto but with compacts I think that this is ok! Love the light on the flowers – makes them sing!

    Liked by 1 person

    February 5, 2017 at 3:51 am

  2. Nice work here, Victor. I stick with the lowest possible ISO unless wind conditions make it necessary to go to 400.


    February 5, 2017 at 8:08 am

    • With the D500 I find myself shooting at higher ISOs


      February 5, 2017 at 8:15 am

  3. In the old days we had to face the fact that sometimes we need high shutter speeds or small apertures to get the image… and a (very) noisy photo was better than no photo at all. Now better sensors give us far more latitude in ISO settings.

    I believe we should try our photos to look good in print and not in a 100 % view on a computer screen. Pixel-peeping can drive you crazy. I do auto ISO most of the time except, sometimes, when bracketing or using flash. I often shoot wildlife in dark rain forests where ISO in the thousands is a must, not a choice.

    Nice photos Victor!

    P. S. A little grain actually looks nice in black and white…

    Liked by 1 person

    February 5, 2017 at 11:26 am

    • I agree, especially with the last line. We can all live with some noise, it’s a good idea to know what it is, how to deal with it and that it is okay when you can’t.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 5, 2017 at 11:47 am

    • I agree with you on shooting for print quality, ed. Computer screens and pixels do change the appearance of our photos. And I’m learning more about “grain” here, too! Thanks!

      Liked by 2 people

      February 5, 2017 at 7:50 pm

  4. Seattle Park Lover

    I’ve been really obsessive about keeping ISO as low as possible ever since I got back into photography a couple years ago, but I’ve been realizing lately there are a lot of situations where I’d be much better off using Auto ISO. Just have to start putting it into practice since I tend to forget.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 5, 2017 at 3:36 pm

  5. Victor, thank you for the detail on ISO. I’ve heard that some street shooters set their camera to bracket three shots to make sure they get a range of exposures. They set the camera to aperture priority. I think the bracketing works if you are in a bright space but there is too much motion blur from longer exposures. Here again the ISO setting is a factor.


    February 5, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    • I heard that and tried it with 35mm. Even a fast frame rate is too slow close up. I will try it with a wider lens. All good ideas.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 5, 2017 at 5:42 pm

  6. Victor, thanks so much for sharing your views on ISO settings and Auto-ISO cameras. As an amateur using auto settings, I found it very helpful!


    February 5, 2017 at 7:46 pm

  7. Thanks for this Victor, I’ve been using Auto-ISO since my Nikon D800 days, I now use it with my Fuji’s. Cameras these days handle high ISO’s so much better than even 5 years ago. The trick is to watch the whole of the exposure triangle to make sure you’re getting what you want. At the end of the day I would rather get a photograph with a high ISO than miss it completely.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 5, 2017 at 8:02 am

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