September 25, 2018

In the past few weeks, we’ve mastered both aperture and shutter speed in relation to winter photography. This week we’re taking a quick look at the final pillar of photography: ISO.

ISO is the last step to understanding the basics of shooting on manual mode and is a crucial component to a well-exposed photo.

What is it?

ISO is your camera’s sensitivity to light. Back when film photography ruled the land, ISO was an indication of how sensitive the roll of film was to light. Now that digital photography is king, ISO still functions the same but now refers to the sensitivity of the image sensor, not the film. When shooting on film, photographers were stuck with whatever ISO the film was set to but with digital photography, photographers have the freedom to change the ISO for every shot.

Winter Photography ISO
Photo by Lukas Reidl.

How is it measured?

ISO is measured in numbers. The higher the number, the more sensitive your sensor becomes to light. The lowest ISO setting on a camera is 100 and from there, the sensitive doubles in number as the ISO increases 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, etc. High ISO is used in very low light conditions and low ISO is used in bright conditions.

ISO Scale

Why is it important?

Often when you adjust your aperture and shutter speed settings, you’re left with a dark image. This is especially common when a fast shutter speed or a small aperture is required. 

In those instances, you may need to bump up your ISO to compensate for the lack of light. For example, if you’re shooting a low light action shot, such as a snowboarder at dusk, you’ll want to maintain a fast shutter speed to freeze motion which might require a high ISO to maintain the light. On occasion, even if your aperture is wide and your shutter speed is long (when shooting the stars, for example) you’ll still need to have a high ISO to get enough light onto the sensor.

ISO for night photography
A higher ISO might be needed to capture a starry night.
Photo: Rickard Croy

What’s the drawback?

With photography, changing a setting always has a counter effect and with a higher ISO, the drawback is the amount of grain (or noise) in a photo. The higher the ISO, the grainier the photo.

ISO 100 should be where you start as this will give you the sharpest and cleanest shot possible (with almost no noise/grain), however, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to increase your ISO due to lack of light.

You do not need to be afraid of bumping up your ISO as the technology of digital cameras have come a long way and are able to handle high ISO settings.

Having said that, just because your camera can go to ISO 6400 doesn´t mean you should.

We recommend shooting the same image with different ISO settings, then compare those shots to see how high you can put your ISO before it ruins your image.

High ISO Grain
The high ISO in this photo made the exposure grainy.

How does it work with Aperture and Shutter Speed?

ISO is a key part of the exposure triangle and adjusting the ISO settings will have a direct effect on the aperture and shutter speed. Bumping up your ISO to 400, for example, will make the exposure brighter, allowing you to increase the shutter speed or have a smaller aperture (both of which decrease how bright the exposure will be). Of course, increasing the ISO will also increase the graininess of the photo so start at ISO 100, set your aperture and shutter speed first, then adjust your ISO to a higher setting as the last resort.

ISO Settings for Winter
To capture afast-moving subject in low light, you'll need to keep your shutter speed fast to reduce image blur, which might require you to increase your ISO to ensure the exposure is bright enough. Photo: Todd Easterbrook.

Our Winter ISO Setting Recommendations:

Its hard to give you an exact ISO setting as this very much depends on your other settings and the available light, however here are some good starting points:

Bright snowy landscape: ISO 100

Winter sports during the middle of the day: ISO 100

Winter sports photography in low light: ISO 800

Cloudy winter day: ISO 200-400

Northern Lights: ISO 1600

Winter night sky: ISO 800-3200

Winter Photography ISO
A bright sunny day will allow you to keep your ISO low, ensuring the crispest shot possible. Photo: Lukas Reidl

 


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Vallerret Blog

What's The Quickest way to Improve your Photography - Find yourself a workshop
What's The Quickest way to Improve your Photography - Find yourself a workshop

October 23, 2018

Ask any self-taught photography professional what they wish they had done when they were starting out, and the answer is sure to be “I wish I had of paid for a workshop where someone could tell me all the secrets in a few days instead of trying to figure them out myself over years”. With so many overwhelming options popping up every month, it can be tricky to narrow down the workshops that are best for you. Here are our tips for selecting the pe...
Read More
Vallerret Photography Glove's New Team Member: Erica Clapp
Vallerret Photography Glove's New Team Member: Erica Clapp

October 18, 2018

The secret’s out! Team Vallerret is growing. We’re excited to bring on Erica Clapp as our Social Media and Content Manager. Living on the other part of the world in New Zealand, Erica will be handling all of our social media, blogging and helping with the ambassador program. We spent all of August in New Zealand getting to know Erica and bringing her up to speed on all things Vallerret. If you want to know more about our newest addition, read on!
Read More
The Best of Photokina 2018
The Best of Photokina 2018

October 09, 2018

The Vallerret team has just returned Cologne, Germany where they cruised the floor at Photokina, the world's largest photography expo, being inspired by the latest and greatest innovations and meeting the best in the biz! 
Read More
Best Photography Glove for Winter Photography
The Best Gloves for Winter Photography

October 02, 2018 5 Comments

What are the best gloves for winter photography? This is a question that has been the center of our business ever since the beginning. Vallerret was founded because of the all too common problem of not being able to find gloves warm enough to withstand the harsh winter weather that came with winter photography. If you're wondering which gloves will be the best fit for you, read on! We break it down for you.
Read More
SIZING CHART

FIND YOUR SIZE:

  1. Measure around the widest part of your hand with a relaxed open palm.
  2. Measure from base of hand to the tip of the middle finger.

NB: We design our gloves to be snug for best camera feel possible. This sizing chart reflects snuggly fitted gloves.

    Unisex Sizes XS S M L XL XXL
    Hand Girth cm  18 - 20  20 - 21 21 - 22 22 - 23 23 - 25 25-28
    inch  7.1 - 7.9   7.9 - 8.3  8.3 - 8.7 8.7 - 9.1 9.1 - 9.8 9.8-11.0
    Hand Length cm  16.0 - 17.5  17.5 - 18.5 18.0 - 19.0 19.0 - 20.0 20.5 - 22.0 22-24.0
    inch  6.3 - 6.9 6.9 - 7.2 7.1 - 7.5 7.5 - 7.9 8.1 - 8.7 8.7-9.4
     EU Size Equivalent  EU 7.5  EU 8 EU 8.5 EU 9 EU 10 EU 11
     Unisex Glove Models: Markhof Pro 2.0 | Skadi Zipper Mitt | Ipsoot | Alta Over-Mitt | Merino Liner Touch | Primaloft/Merino Liner
    Female Sizes XS S M L XL
    Hand Girth cm 16.0 - 17.5 17.5 - 18.8 18.5 - 20.0 20.0 - 21.5 -
    inch  6.3 - 6.9 6.9 - 7.4 7.2 - 7.9 7.9 - 8.5 -
    Hand Length cm 15.5 - 16.5 16.3 - 17.2  17.0 - 18.5 19.0 - 20.0 -
    inch  6.1 - 6.5 6.4 - 6.8 6.7 - 7.3 7.5 - 7.9 -
     EU Size Equivalent  EU 6  EU 7 EU 8 EU 9 -
    Female Glove Models: W's Nordic