Photo Lesson Overview on CGIPix.com

CGIPix is an observation that Nikon, Canon and the rest no longer make cameras,
they make computers that you can attach a lens to.
Here is a basic overview of what it takes to create good, better or best pictures, you decide how much effort you want to put into your pictures.

The meanings of ISO and Film Speed:

International Organization for Standardization

Everyone knows it as ISO, and they are an international body that sets standards for everyone to go by. It doesn't matter who the film was made by, ISO 100 is the same, or with digital, all sensors are rated for the same light levels at any given ISO.

What it Means

ISO is the relative amount of light that the imaging sensor needs to correctly expose it. ISO 100 will take more time to expose than ISO 1600.

ISO 100, 1/250 second shutter speed, F5.6 aperture = ISO 1600 1/4,000 second shutter speed, F5.6 aperture

When to Use High ISO

The most obvious use of high ISO films is for low light levels, when getting the shot is more important than what the shot will look like. If it's getting dark, and flash is not an option, crank the ISO up to the maximum level, and you can still get an image. It won't be as good as a daytime image due to noise, but there will still be an image. Another use of high ISO is for the effects, if you're shooting a "grungy" scene, such as bands, a construction site, dirt bikes, etc. the added noise will give an added element to the photo. Rather than being a "sterile" look for something from a low ISO, the film or digital sensor will add to the image with increased noise. ISO can also be used to increase Depth-of -Field in this way:

ISO 100 1/250 second shutter, F5.6 aperture = ISO 1600, 1/250 second shutter, F22 aperture

So if it's a fast moving subject, and focus will be hard at F5.6, better to have a noisy image that is in focus, than an image that is out of focus.

When to Use Low ISO

Low ISO is preferred for daytime and images where noise would look out of place. If you're taking a portrait of a ballerina, a noisy image would not fit, where if it's a lead singer for a band, the noise does fit. When taking pictures of landscapes, ISO 200 is always a good speed. Some cameras have ISO 100 as a low end, if that's the case, then use it instead of 200. If the camera has an ISO 200, and an ISO -1, which is equal to 100, I always prefer to stick to the numbered segments, the +1 and -1 ISO are extended ranges, to me it's better to stick with normal ranges, not the extended.

Film vs Digital ISO

In the old days of film, you loaded a roll of film, and you were set at a certain ISO for the entire roll. With digital your ISO can be changed to suit your need for quality, aperture or shutter speed, at any time. The numbers are still the same, and the corresponding exposures don't matter whether it is film or digital.

ISO Image Testing, Tips and Tricks

OK, here's one of my tricks, that if you read this far, will save you a lot of time for nighttime photography.

Shooting at night can be difficult to judge exposure times, but with a crank of the ISO knob, it becomes easy and quicker. Here's how:

1-Set the ISO to the maximum range, usually 3200 ISO or so for most cameras.
2-Take the picture with the aperture wide open, at an easy exposure time, 10 second is good.
3-Look at the image preview, is it too light, dark, or right on?
4-Adjust accordingly, until the image looks properly exposed at ISO 3200.
5-Set the camera to ISO 200, and adjust the shutter accordingly.

10 second at ISO 3200 = 160 seconds at ISO 200

Rather than taking almost 3 minutes to look at the exposure, you can look at it in 10 seconds.

If you want to adjust aperture, the do the same adjustment to shutter speed:

160 seconds at F4 = 640 seconds at F8

Here are some samples from the Photo Galleries:

Here are the guidelines for using any pictures from this site:

A link MUST be placed from the page that the picture is used, either to Home Page, Thumbnail Page or to the photo's Gallery Page.
The link can be a text link at the bottom of the page, or the picture can be a link.
There is a limit of 10 (Ten) photos that may be used from this website on another single website. After 10 (Ten) photos, permission must be obtained to use additional photos.
Keep the name of the picture as it was originally named, without changing it.
The images on this site are all sized at 400 x 600, that is the size limit for using them on any other website.
The Desktop Backgrounds are for personal use only, and are not meant to be put on a website, unless they are resized at 400 x 600.
You can use the images for commercial, personal, professional or any type of website.
If it's a commercial website, remember that you don't have a model release, so if it's a picture with someone in it, and they are prominently featured, you can't use it without a model release. When it's a picture of scenery or anything where the people are not identifiable, then you can use it freely.
The "MODELS" pictures are all PREMIUM images. They cannot be used without permission.
It's not a requirement, but send me an e-mail if you use a photo.