Getting Off Auto Mode…Let’s Get Creative! ISO Explained. Part 1/4 By Faye Neal Photography

Faye Neal Photography Blog

Getting Off Auto Mode…Let’s Get Creative! ISO Explained. Part…

Hello and welcome to ‘Part 1’ of my blog series.

‘Getting off Auto Mode…Let’s Get Creative!’


In order to start getting off Auto Mode, there are a few things you need to know!

Whether you just got your first DSLR or you have one and still stuck on auto, this short blog series will help you get started in understanding a little bit about your camera, and get you using the other modes…so lets get creative shall we?

I have designed this blog series to be short and sweet!

First off….Auto mode is handy! yes…I mean let’s get real, the camera does all the thinking for you, leaving you to get the shot you need. But hang on….you can think for yourself can’t you? your DSLR is an amazing tool…I mean what would a carpenter be without his tools? but the tools are nothing without the skill of the carpenter. the camera doesn’t take the pictures for you, you do…

So let’s take control, get creative and have fun!

In this series we will cover the ‘Exposure Triangle’….ISO,SHUTTER SPEED and APERTURE.



First up! ISO…..In Photography, ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor.

ISO settings look like this…ISO 100,ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600 and so on…

Changing your ISO can be different on each camera, on my NIKON it is under the menu button. Look at your manual and it will explain the way to change it for your camera.

Now the lower the number (ISO 100) the less sensitive it is to light. The higher number (ISO 800,ISO 1600 and up the more sensitive it is to light.

WARING – when increasing your ISO on your camera you will gradually increase noise (grain) into your photos, most modern day DSLRs can go up quite high before seeing this, but the best thing here is to test this out, play around with it and find your safe zone.

Every DSLR is different, so do some ISO test photos.



Now let’s have a play around. If you are still in ‘AUTO’ at the moment, you can set your camera so you have control over ISO, again….depending on your camera will depend on where this is in your camera’s menu, so you will have to look this up in your manual.

If you are already on ‘Part 2’ of my blog series and looking back, then controlling the ISO will go hand in hand with controlling the ‘Shutter Speed’ if you are reading this blog for the first time, then read part 2 after to start putting all this into practice, getting off ‘Auto’.

So most of the time ISO 100 will do just fine, out on a nice sunny day, light is not a problem. if the weather turns a bit overcast, then you may find the light is not so much there in your photo.


Faye Neal PhotographyFaye Neal Photography


Increasing my ISO setting made my camera more sensitive to light.


These next two images were a bit different, I started with not much light. I was indoors and the natural light source (window light) wasn’t enough. again…increasing the ISO I was able to get the light I wanted.

Faye Neal PhotographyFaye Neal Photography


Here is a small example chart to get you started.

ISO 100 – Bright sun light,Out doors.

ISO 200 – Same as above but when using faster shutter speed is needed.

ISO 400 – Indoor, Overcast,faster shutter speed, when avoiding using flash.

ISO 800 – Overcast,Dark Indoor,fast action photography when a faster shutter speed needed.

ISO 1250 – Low light,Indoor. Noise may start becoming a issue here.

ISO 1600 – Night time, Low light, long lens shooting. Noise will be a issue.

ISO 3200 – Best Avoid. Noise will show in your photos, use another source of increasing light.

Thank you for reading my blog, I hope you found it helpful.

In ‘Part 2’ we will be turning our camera’s dial off Auto and looking at Shutter Speed Priority. This is where you will start to decide what your photo will become, taking control of the final result.

Faye Neal Photography x


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