Y'all ready for this? Get ready to make some NOISE this week!
We've mastered setting your aperture. We've conquered setting your shutter speed. All that remains between you and shooting full manual on your DSLR is one last setting...ISO.
What is ISO?
ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor to light. The higher the number, the more sensitive the sensor will be (and the brighter your exposure will get). As you increase the ISO, the amount of "digital noise" or grain in your image increases.
Newbies tend to use ISO as "that button that makes my photo brighter" without realizing the consequences it can have on your image. Manufacturers also use the maximum ISO settings on their cameras as a marketing gimmick. Nikon recently released the D4s which touts a max ISO of 409,960! But see the image below? That's what kind of quality you'd get out of shooting at that high ISO.
That's why you usually want to keep your ISO to as low of a number as possible.
But for this week we're going to crank that sucker up! For Challenge #5 we're going to be pushing our camera's ISO to the extreme and getting some noisy shots. Set your ISO first to one of the higher settings on your camera and then set your aperture and shutter speed afterwards.
A) So that we can clearly see the noisy effects it can have on our image.
B) To allow ourselves to shoot under lower light conditions and set our aperture/shutter in a way that we normally wouldn't be able to. If you can get your ISO up to 6400 at night, you can dial back your f-stop OR up your shutter speed and still get a decent exposure.
But SG, won't that make my image full of noise and ugly?
Yes! And no. Noise isn't necessarily something to be afraid of. Just because there's a little noise in your image doesn't mean it's a bad picture. We must learn to EMBRACE the noise!...however these shots will be taken to the noisy extreme and so may not be ones that you'll want to place first in your portfolio. But it will be a fun experiment and you may be surprised with what you're able to get.
Go out and make some NOISE! Share the challenge with some of your fellow shooters.
P.S. Video critiques and the new challenges will be released every Tuesday from now on. I need the extra day to encode/upload each of the videos.