Friday, February 11, 2011

ISO Settings on the Nikon D90

ISO is super important when making a correct exposure in photography.  Yesterday I was exploring a little with Mid Day Portraits and realized that I need to adjust the way I am shooting to get better exposure when there is way more light available.  Like the picture above, even though it was late morning sunlight shining is really bright and a lot of the details have been blown.  Blown highlights are neat in pictures, but also can be distracting if there are too many.  This shot I still love, since it is telling a story about my daughter one morning watching the street sweeper drive by our house.  Isa and the dog ran full speed to the window to get a better look, and I was just lucky enough to catch them!

I know that shooting during mid day light that the lower the ISO the better, but I thought my camera only went down to ISO 200.  I had noticed in the past I could set the ISO to L 0.3, L 0.7, or L 1.0...which were all below the ISO of 200 on my camera menu.  Since I didn't take the time in the past to look it up in my manual, I never played with them.  Well, tonight I looked them up!  The L 1.0 is equivalent to ISO 100, the L 0.7 is the same as ISO 125 and L 0.3 is ISO 160.  So, for this shot I should of tried using a lower ISO to make my camera less sensitive to the light.  I think that I used an ISO of 200 or 400 for this shot, I can't remember and am too lazy to look it up right now. :)

I have also noticed in the past when I have my lens open wide (f 1.8)  that I am sometimes unable to meter for the correct exposure, since there was too much light.  So, I am thinking that if I had tried my L 1.0 setting I might of had gotten a better exposure, not over exposed or having to change my depth of field by making my aperture smaller...a bigger f-number.

Thought I would share what I learned today! :)  Hope you already knew that, and if not...glad to of shared.


  1. the light here is perfect. when I started paying attention to ISO, my shots came out better, less grainy, I am so new at this!

  2. Thank you for posting this information! It was very useful to me. I have such a hard time figuring out the best ISO/f-stop/shutter speed combo.
    It's kinda like a dance - gotta know the right moves for the right music. :-)

  3. You are so welcome! Thanks for the comments you guys! I will also start to post settings when I add pictures...maybe it will help you out! :) Thanks for checking out this little blog of mine!

  4. oh my gosh...what a wonderful photo! so awesome that you caught it!!!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing! Super helpful! I had just recently wondered what those settings were on my own D90...and never bothered to check. Love the composition of your shot by the way. :)