Posts Tagged 'High ISO techniques'

Ted’s Photo Tips: Prevent High ISO Noise

How to Prevent High ISO Noise  

It is not always possible to shoot in low ISO. For instance, in a low-light environment, you have to use a higher ISO setting. For today’s tip, I show you how to prevent High ISO Noise.

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What is High ISO Noise?

Generally speaking, when shooting with high ISO, our digital cameras create digital noise or grain. The high ISO noise reduces the sharpness of pictures. So, the best way to prevent high ISO noise is using a lower ISO.

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However, we need to use a high ISO in many situations, i.e. our kids’ hockey game. In this example, if you use a low ISO setting, you have to use a slow shutter speed. Therefore, all the photos will be blurry! So, you must use a high ISO to take sharp images. 

High ISO Noise

prevent high ISO Noise

Low-light, fast-moving subjects, and High ISO

Should you use a low ISO and slow shutter speed to avoid the noise? But, since the subject is moving, you will end up with blurry images. Or should you increase the ISO and using a faster shutter speed to freeze the action? That is a big dilemma.

So, here is the solution to prevent high ISO noise; Shoot photos slightly over-exposed. 

Slightly over-exposed photos conceal the high ISO noise to the point that it makes the picture sharp enough for prints.

If you shoot in any of the semi-automatic modes, Shutter priority or aperture priority, use the Exposure Compensation button to increase the exposure by one stop (+1.) If you use Manual Exposure, adjust the exposure to +1, and you will be amazed how this simple trick can easily prevent high ISO noise.  

Increased Exposure to Prevent High ISO Noise

prevent High ISO Noise
I shot this image at ISO 6400 to prevent High ISO Noise.

Increased Exposure to Prevent High ISO Noise

prevent high ISO Noise
Slightly adjustments in Lightroom, made this picture sharp and printable.

Do you want to learn more about High ISO Noise prevention?

To read more about preventing the high ISO noise, click HERE to read the full article.

Our Digital Camera Crash Course is a full-day photography class for beginners. It covers the Exposure settings (Shutter speed, Aperture, and ISO) in great detail. It starts on April 10, 2021. The small class size and field trip make this workshop ideal for beginners and intermediates alike.

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That is all for now. Stay tuned for my next photography Tips. We love to hear from you. Let us know if you have any questions, feel free to send us your questions, and we will be more than happy to answer them. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more Free Tutorials and Tips.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

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ISO Settings Tips

How about ISO Settings?

More tips for successfully utilizing different ISO settings

Part 3

After learning about the ISO, let’s talk about some useful tips for using ISO Settings.

Do not use Auto ISO…

-If you shoot steady subjects (such as landscape, macro, or even portraits.) You want to control the Depth of Field and Dynamic Range of the photo.

-In Flash Photography, especially if you use off-camera flashes.

-If you are going for a long exposure, Auto ISO can drive you nuts! When you want to slow down your shutter speed, the Auto ISO will keep increasing the sensitivity to maintain the minimum safe shutter speed. Turn Auto ISO off for long exposures.

-If you want to create a very shallow Depth-Of-Field.

Tips on using higher ISO:

-Try to stay at as low an ISO as possible. For example if you can shoot at ISO 1000, don’t set the ISO to 2000. Remember: the lower the ISO, the sharper and cleaner will be the picture.

-If you have to shoot at a high ISO, try to set the exposure a little higher. You can set the exposure compensation to +0.5 or +0.7, to achieve a brighter photo.

ISO Settings Tips

Underexposed image. After adjusting the brightness, you introduce more noise to the image

ISO Settings Tips

Here is the above image at 2:1 zoom. The noise are very pronounced

Why I should overexpose images when shooting higher ISO?

This is a good question. When you shoot at a higher ISO, and the image is a little too dark, you need to brighten the photo in post processing (editing in Photoshop or Lightroom as examples). By editing to apply brightness to an image, you introduce more Digital Noise (or grain) to the image. For this reason it’s recommended to slightly overexpose images with a higher ISO. Then you won’t need to brighten the image in post processing; if it is a little too bright for your taste or style, you can tone it down a little, which will help to smooth out the digital noise.

ISO Settings

An slightly overexposed image with high ISO settings

High ISO Settings

For Overexposed image, even after adjustments, the noise is not as pronounced as the underexposed photo

As mentioned above, I don’t recommend using Auto ISO in flash photography, but there some exceptions. I’ve scheduled a Flash photography workshop for October 29 and 31. This two part workshop covers all popular techniques in flash photography with lots of hands-on practice.


I hope you enjoyed this look at the role of ISO in establishing good exposures, its advantages and the importance of using high ISO settings with caution.  It can be a helpful technique for those times when shutter speed and aperture need to remain constant.  Happy experimenting with ISO!

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

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