Higher ISO settings

By Mike Maynard | Mike Maynard | Published:

Now winter is here I am using higher ISO settings to compensate for the poor light. Higher ISO settings make the sensor more sensitive to light and are essential when we are shooting landscape or indoors when we don’t want to use a flash. I mostly shoot on aperture priority with my Nikon D3200. That is the A setting on the camera dial. I set the aperture, how wide the shutter opens and the camera sets an appropriate shutter speed.


Little Station Street

This is Little Station Street near Walsall Art Gallery. Narrow passageways can be great shots because you get a lot of depth and often you get an old world look and lots of textures. This being Walsall, included were the remains of varied graffiti. I would have liked to have included the stylish street sign in the shot but the yobs had spoilt that with graffiti as well.

ISO 400

Inside Walsall Art Gallery

Inside the gallery, I continued shooting at ISO 400 but for this shot, I could have gone to ISO 800 and got a faster shutter speed. The shutter speed was 1/20th of a second so adequate for an image where nothing was moving, except maybe the camera.

Higher ISO settings

Don’t be afraid to use higher ISO settings


I used ISO 400 for this shot too even though I had much more light. I wanted a narrow aperture for a depth of field that would bring the distant trees into focus. I managed to get 1/100 of a second at f/13 which was fast enough to freeze the movement of the ducks. If your shutter speed isn’t quite fast enough, you can use exposure compensation to make your aperture slightly wider before you take the shot.

The big advantage with a DSLR like the Nikon D3200 is setting the camera for the shot is easy. You have an easy to use shooting menu and setting the aperture is a simple matter of turning the thumb wheel on the back of the camera and it can be turned while pressing a button on the top of the camera to adjust exposure compensation.

Don’t be afraid to use higher ISO settings. Higher ISO settings can mean noisy images but I find this only happens when the light is really poor. Most of the time I can use the higher settings without any problem.

Mike Maynard

By Mike Maynard

Mike is a photographer and blogger, and key contributor to the Express & Star's Star Witness section


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