Hey you guys! Thanks so much for all of your feedback on the ISO, aperture and shutter speed tutorial — really does mean so much! So glad it’s helping, yay!
Cardcrazed (Karen G) left this great comment about ISO and noise:
Hello Lisa.. I re-learned some things I had forgotten over the years with this tutorial.. I never realized that the ISO in digital was different than the in film. I thought that the ISO in digital meant that the sensor would be more sensitive to the light, rather than adding more noise. I now need some sunshine to play with the aperture setting on my Canon camera.
Yep, it’s true that ISO in digital means that the sensor is more sensative to light so you can use a faster shutter speed and handhold shots instead of using a tripod, but the tradeoff is that there’s more noise. Several of you asked what “noise” is, too. So, I thought I’d take some pictures to show you using these business cards that I picked up at the awesome Renegade Craft Fair last weekend. (That was s so fun! Can’t wait to share the goodies I got! But, that’s for another post.)
I used my point and shoot camera for this one, because the more expensive the camera, the better the sensor and the less noisy it is (that’s one of the key things that you get when you purchase a top-of-the-line digital SLR). I took the photo on the kitchen table when the sun was barely shining in the window — you’d notice the noise even more in lower light. I only changed the ISO settings between the shots — nothing else.
Noise is most noticeable in dark and light areas of the photo. So, let’s have a closer look at Mr. Moose there! Here he is at ISO 1600:
See all the little dots of different colors in the moose, on the white paper, and on the table? That’s noise.
Now let’s have a look at Mr. Moose at ISO 100:
There’s still a little bit of noise here, but it’s so much better, isn’t it?
The differences would have been even more pronounced if I’d have compared ISO 80 and ISO 3200, but I chose ISO 100 and ISO 1600 since they’re more common.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’d rather have a noisy photo than miss a shot! So, I crank up the ISO when I need to. But with card photography we can usually control this better with lighting and using a tripod so that you can have longer shutter speeds. And, you usually don’t notice noise as much if you use the whole photo straight out of the camera. But, usually in card photography we crop the photo around the card.
Sure hope that helps explain noise, just let me know if you have any more q’s.
Mr. Moose and I wish you a happy day, and lotsa fun playing with ISO, aperture, and shutter speeds. :)
Hey you guys! Since a picture’s worth a thousand words, I broke out my trusty old all manual Canon FT to show you what the different aperture settings look like. This is easy to do on manual cameras since the shutter stays open until you press the button to take the photo.
First up, f16:
See that little hole? Imagine the light going through there to hit the film. Can you see how it would take longer for the same amount of light to travel through there as it would if it was at f 5.6:
So if we were taking an actual photo, we’d need the shutter to stay open longer to make a proper exposure at f 16 than we do at f 5.6.
And if the lens was “wide open” at f 1.8, it would take even less time for the same amount of light to go through, so we’d need a faster shutter speed so that too much light didn’t get in and over expose the photo.
It’s a little hard to see, but the hole at f1.8 is as big as the inside of the lens.
Hope that makes it easier to see how shutter speed — the amount of time that the shutter is open to let the light in — is related to aperture. :)
In case you missed it, here’s the full tutorial on ISO, shutter speed, and aperture.
Oh and! I really do love this old film camera, it takes the most dreamy photos. Best $50 I ever spent to learn about photography! (I guess I’m a bit of a film snob.) (Plus it makes a great paper weight, ha).
One last bit of advice — give yourself time to play with all of these settings on your digital camera — whether you go full manual or put it in aperture priority mode is totally up to you. Just don’t have a goal of taking a specific photo — fiddle around and have fun. (Makes a great excuse to get a fresh bouquet of flowers and happily snap away.)
Hi you guys! I hope you enjoyed the first tutorial in the series as much as I enjoyed seeing all of your experiments! Was so cool to see all the different locations and how the changes in white balance really made an impact.
Several of you asked where I take my photos — so here it is! Welcome to my studio. (Also known as the bedroom.)
(I love this photo even though the bed cover is wrinkled from where J sat on it, there are lines in the carpet from the vaccum cleaner, and the fossils on the table are not in their proper spots because I had just moved them to put my camera there. All the light makes me so happy.)
I usually keep the curtains closed, but on this day it was partly cloudy out and the clouds were blocking the sun. So, I opened ‘em up to let in more light. If it’s really sunny out, the window frames make lines in the photo — not good. (It’s all about knowing your setup.)
For this second tutorial I want to focus on aperture and shutter speed, because I think those are the second most important things you can do for your cardmaking photos. (Outside of light, location, and white balance, that is.)
You would think taking a photo of a card would be easy, right? After all, it’s just a piece of paper. But it’s not. Nooooo, cards are tricky little creatures.
If it’s a folded card, you want to show a little of the top or the side so that you can tell it’s not flat. (And you don’t want it to look wonky, either! You know what I mean by wonky: too wide on top or bottom, crooked, or like it’s in a time warp being stretched out of proportion.)
And if it is a flat card, then you want to put a little life in it and make it look, yep, not flat!
And don’t even get me started on showing dimension, and closeups of nifty little details and such, like glitter and embossing. Especially glitter. (Oh glitter, how I love you! But sometimes you make me want to pull my hair out when you make it hard to photo your sparkly goodness!)
Or how you setup your card outside so that you have better light, and then the wind comes along just as you’re about to press the shutter and your card goes flying out into the street and gets run over by a car. Squish. Gulp.
Oh yes, card photography is hard.
What’s This All About?
Howdy from Austin, TX! My name is Lisa Spangler and I like to make crafty stuff, eat donuts, and take photos. (Not necessarily in that order.) More about me.
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