As a landscape photographer, perhaps you’ve been advised not to increase your ISO over 100 or 160. I’ve seen this piece of advice many times, and I know a few people who rely on it way too much. But should you really stay at the lowest ISO at all times? Should astrophotography be the only time you increase it? In this video, Mark Denney goes over two situations when using higher ISO is a must. As a bonus, he shares a useful trick to help you determine just how high you can go without fear of compromising image quality.
Many photographers believe that the only way to get clean images is by using ISO 100. However, it’s not exactly the case. Mark used this festive time of the year to perform an experiment and confirm this. He photographed his Christmas tree on a tripod, gradually increasing his ISO. As you can see in the video, there’s very little difference between ISO 100 and 640, 1600, and even 2500! The change in quality is obvious at ISO 5000, but below that, the differences are barely noticeable, if at all. You can perform the same experiment with your camera. This is something you should only do once, and it will help you determine what’s an acceptable ISO level for your particular camera.
There are times when you want a specific shutter speed, and you can’t just use a slower shutter speed so our ISO stays 100. As I mentioned, there are two situations when Mark increases his ISO. First, it’s when he shoots water. The shutter speed that’s too slow would give him that “milky water” effect which he doesn’t want, and increasing the ISO lets him use faster shutter speed. And second, it’s when there are leaves blowing in the wind. Again, using a slower shutter speed would make the leaves blurry, so he uses higher ISO in order to be able to use a faster shutter speed.
Do you always keep your ISO low when shooting landscapes during the daytime? Or you also increase it without concern of compromising image quality?
[STOP USING ISO 100!! (Landscape Photography) | Mark Denney]