Use ISO to Give Photos the “Look” You Desire with 3 Quick Tips from Canon USA (VIDEO)

Most photographers are familiar with the Exposure Triangle that consists of Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO—the three camera settings that combine to arrive at a “correct exposure.” Of course what’s perceived as “correct” is in the eye of the beholder, as the exposure you use depends upon the mood you intend to convey.

The tutorial below is the latest episode in the Canon Quick Tips series from Canon USA, and explores one aspect of the Exposure Triangle, namely ISO. It demonstrates how modifying this setting can help you achieve the exact look you’re after with various types of photographs.

Marketing Specialist Calvin Anderson clearly know more than a bit about photography, and in barely five minutes he provides an overview of ISO, how this setting interacts with other exposure variables, and the ways it can be used to your advantage.

ISO isn’t a complicated concept when properly explained as it is here, and Anderson begins with a quick overview, explaining that, “All things being equal, lower ISO settings will produce a darker image while higher ISOs will produce a brighter image.” Of course all things are rarely equal, as we generally modify aperture and shutter speed once we’ve chosen the desired ISO.

In addition to exposure considerations, ISO also affect the level of noise in an image, with lower ISOs yielding cleaner results and higher ISO producing a grainier effect. Anderson notes that different camera models offer different maximum ISO settings, which is why some models are a better choice for those who do a lot of low-light shooting.

Using the Canon EOS R6 full-frame mirrorless camera to capture images for this tutorial, Anderson provides examples of images shot at various ISOs—each of which also includes aperture and shutter speed information so you’ll see how all three variables interact. With sport/action photography, for example, lower ISO settings are generally preferable, and you’ll see why.

There’s much more to see and earn in this quick but valuable tutorial, so be sure and take a look. You can find more helpful Quick Tips on Canon’s YouTube channel.