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ISO Blunder A Caveat – How Your Automated Settings on Your DSLR Will Spoil Your Stock Photo Submissions!


ISO Blunder A Caveat – How Your Automated Settings on Your DSLR Will Spoil Your Stock Photo Submissions!

August 28, 2015 @ 8:01 am
by e.neil
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Point and shoot, auto adjust, etc. can be the bane of your photography aspirations.

Shooting in full sized 6000x RAW format isn’t enough.
You have to realize the old school rules of photography still apply.

Back in the film days, we had 3 main concerns: Aperture. Shutter speed. ISO (and for the really long-timers, ASA).

I got my dSLR a little over a year ago. And honestly, I still approach it with a bit of awe and, to be honest, confusion.

Throw a film camera in my hands, and even though it’s been 20 years since I used an SLR, I can still manage great photos (if I do say so myself – but my wife wouldn’t … ha.)

But the new-fanged dSLR threw me for a loop.

I kept wondering why the heck my photos came up grainy on 100% magnification.
With a sensor as strong as I have, even with the crappy kit lens that came with it, it shouldn’t have been so grainy.

So I decided to to the KISS rule… Go back to my roots. Go back to those main 3 from my first love affair with photography…

Shutter speed… no, that doesn’t cause graininess. Nor does aperture.

The only thing that would is the ISO, but hey, there isn’t any film to have those little pieces of silver on them… so I had to think “virtual silver” … and there was the ISO setting.

And it was set at a whopping 3200!


Of course, it lets me shoot in really low light situations, and is ok for casual use, or when I want to keep images small… But for stock photography, sorry buddy, it just won’t cut it.

So I set up a little experiment….

After finding how to do the manual override (not too difficult), and making sure all the little “automatic helpers” were reined in, I shot some test photos.

The results were amazing.

Of course, I need an abundant light source… my crappy lens is an 18 – 55 zoom with a (supposed) 3.5 maximum f/stop (though I’ve only been able to get it to hit 5.xx)

I clearly need an upgrade to my lens pack, but hey, gotta start somewhere…

Back to the good news, though.

Setting the ISO at 100, and slowing my shutter speeds to give me good light, I was able to get mind blowing resolution and clarity on the dark blue tee shirt I was shooting as a test subject.

Wow. I could clearly see the cable knit of the fabric! I was shooting with the lens at 50 mm, and from a distance of about a meter to a meter and a half!

I compared it to the same shot at 3200 ISO, and a sudden sigh of relief washed over me.

Though I’ll need more light, I can shoot at the quality I need to get my stock images accepted…

Which is what did NOT happen earlier this week…
I thought I had a brilliant image, but at 100%, it’s crap…

Too bad…

Well, that’s what learning from mistakes is for…

Just think, I have to go BACK to all those restaurants to eat great food, so I can have acceptable stock images… What a shame…

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