The Lowdown on High ISOs

For low-light photography, the ISO setting is often the key to success!

by Linda Eodice

It’s easy to get good exposures on a bright, sunny day. But when you want to shoot pictures inside a museum, church or any low-light situation in which tripods are not allowed, you can still get good exposures by using a high ISO setting.

I attended my nephew’s wedding several years ago, and wasn’t allowed to use flash inside the chapel (besides, my flash may have interfered with that of the official wedding photographer’s). Using a tripod would have also been inconvenient, so I raised my ISO speed to 1600 - the fastest setting on the Canon EOS 20D that I was using at the time - and utilized the existing light.

Because there was some nice illumination coming in through a bank of windows on one side of the room, in addition to incandescent lighting above, I was able to get good color balance with my Auto WB setting.

Editor's Notes:

See Lynne Eodice's excellent courses at BetterPhoto's digital online photography school:

About Author / Instructor / Photographer, Linda Eodice
Photography Instructor: Linda EodiceThe author of Photos That Inspire, Lynne Eodice teaches a number of excellent online classes for (see the current course listing below.) She is also the former Feature Editor for Petersen’s PHOTOgraphic.

A native of Southern California, Lynne was educated at Pasadena City College and Cal Poly Pomona. Her love of photography began after her husband gave her a 35mm SLR as an anniversary gift. She began her career as a feature writer & photographer for local newspapers that included Pasadena Weekly and The Herald Tribune.

Besides having articles and photos published regularly in PHOTOgraphic, she has contributed to Rangefinder, Digital Photographer and California Tour & Travel, as well as PHOTOgraphic’s Buyer’s Guide, Big Book of Photography and Family Photo magazines. Her images have appeared in a popular instructional book called The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Photography, and she has marketed her stock photos through Index Stock Imagery in New York.

Lynne has exhibited her fine-art scenic photography at Kolb Studio and the visitor’s center at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, at Occidental College in Eagle Rock, California, and at venues throughout the San Gabriel Valley. In addition, she has taught many classes, seminars and workshops.

In the fall of 2007, she was honored as one of the Women Achievers in the San Gabriel Valley in Business Life magazine.

Lynne currently lives with her husband, Dennis and their dog, Chiquita in Altadena, California.