More and more fashion blogs are being created every day and it’s no secret that one of the keys to a successful blog is to have good photographs to go along with each of your posts. It’s also no secret that photography itself is difficult, time consuming, and, for the less tech-savvy, just downright confusing. When your camera is buzzing and whirring away on AUTO mode it’s basically working out a combination of ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed to give you a proper exposure. Here are simple explanations of those three things and how you can use them to make the photography on your blog really shine.
The ISO number refers to a camera’s responsiveness to light. Here are the three most important things to remember about ISO:
- The higher the ISO, the more responsive your camera is to light. Shooting at a high ISO number will allow you to shoot in a dimly lit room like at a showroom or at a runway show, for example.
- The lower the ISO, the less responsive your camera is to light. Shooting at a low ISO number will allow you to shoot outside on a sunny day, like if you’re shooting street style, for example.
- The higher the ISO number, the more “noise” that will result; noise will make your images appear grainy and not particularly pretty so I suggest keeping your ISO as low as possible for the demands of the situation.
The aperture is the opening in the lens that allows light into the camera. Here are two important things to remember about aperture:
- Shooting at a lower aperture number (like f/1.4 or f/2) will allow you to shoot in a dimly lit room and will also give you a nice, blurry, out of focus background. Low apertures are great for shooting jewelry and accessories or for really making your subject stand out from the background. Shooting at a low aperture will allow a lot of light into the camera and so your shutter speeds can be faster.
- Shooting at a higher aperture (like f/16 or f/22), will keep your entire scene in sharp focus but can only be used for shooting where you have a great deal of light, like when you’re outside shooting street style or an outfit for a post. Shooting at a high aperture will allow less light into the camera and so your shutter speeds will be longer.
Shutter speed is the length of time the shutter stays open once you’ve pressed the shutter release button. Here are some things to remember about shutter speed:
- Fast shutter speeds (say 1/125th of a second to 1/4000th of a second) are great for freezing action, like to keep runway models from getting all blurry.
- Longer shutter speeds (1/25th of a second or longer) are great when you’re shooting in a dimly lit room, like at a SoHo boutique, and you need a lot of light, but they will also cause moving objects to appear blurry.
- Be careful when you’re hand-holding the camera as longer shutter speeds will result in camera shake and a slightly blurry image from the movement of your hand.
The most important thing to remember about all this is that the three of these different factors are up to you to decide upon, depending on the demands of the situation. Don’t let your camera make all of your choices for you; it may have a brain, but it doesn’t have a heart and so it doesn’t know what truly goes into making a good photo.
Also, I know how confusing this stuff can be and this is an extremely brief post to cover it all. Feel free to ask me any questions you like.
Photos by: Nando Alvarez Perez