Hello IggleBugs! The 3 karma 100 days achievement code is now live, so if you’ve taken photos for 100 days in a row, message me and I’ll give you the code! The following milestones will be 150, 200, 250, 300, then 365. Each one will be worth one more karma than the one preceding it.

Tweet @IggleBugs for the 7, 30, and 60 day, and 100 day achievement codes if you need them! You don’t have to upload the pics in a row, but at least make sure you’re taking one every day.  You’ll also find another code in the forums.

For anyone who doesn’t know what’s going on here, if you haven’t checked out the IggleBugs lately, you should swing by and have a look at our Photo 365 Challenge thread in the IggleBugs Forum! Join us if you’re looking for a fun photographic challenge for 2014! You don’t need a fancy camera or anything, just a passion for taking pictures! Upload and share however you want, if you want. It’s entirely up to you! The best part about it is you can make your day one whenever you want! So feel free to jump in late, we won’t bite!

I will post seven themes and ideas a week as we go through the year. They won’t be strict assignments, just helpful ideas to get you through the week if you get stuck or feel like you need some inspiration.

Here is the list of helpful ideas for week twenty-one!


Now it’s time for part three of our little IggleBugs Photography 101, ISO.

What is ISO? Well, it’s a measurement of sensitivity, either the sensitivity of film or your camera’s sensor, to light. ISO on your camera generally ranges from 100 up to 6400, though some cameras can boost ISO to much higher numbers. Most cameras that allow manual controls will allow you to set your ISO or you can put it on automatic. Cameras like the one on your phone will set the ISO automatically.

Can’t I just leave my camera on “Auto ISO” and never have to worry about it? Well, you could do that, and I sometimes do when I’m lazy or I can already predict what my camera is going to set my ISO at (the camera will usually use the lowest ISO setting it can and still get a sharp, motion free image), but if I’m doing portraits, something important, or technical or tricky shooting, or if I want something specific, I’ll set my own ISO. ISO can usually be manually set whether you’re in Tv, Av, or M mode on your camera.

So what do the numbers mean? I read a book once that explained ISO in a very interesting way. The author compared ISO to bees. Think of ISO 100 as a measurement of how many pixel gathering bees you have. If you have 100 bees, you’re not going to get pixels as fast, but you’ll be able to keep track of all your bees and get them back safely. But if you have 6400 bees, you’ll be able to get a lot of pixels really fast, but you’ll lose some of your bees in the process. ISO 100 is the slowest and least sensitive of the ISO settings, but it will produce the cleanest and least “noisy” images. ISO 6400 may do a great job of getting you blur free images in low light, but you will have a “noisier” image since you lost some of your bees in the exposure process. When it comes to ISO, the smaller number is the slowest speed and lowest sensitivity, and the bigger the number, the faster you’ll be able to take a photo. Look at the examples below. With ISO 100, you can clearly read the text on Lego TARDIS, but as the ISO is boosted, the image becomes grainy and harder to read. Note that to keep the same exposure (these photos have not been retouched), I was able to narrow the aperture and use a faster shutter speed each time the ISO was raised.


So what ISO should you use? In good lighting or with a wider aperture, you can and should use 100 ISO. You’ll generally want to use the lowest ISO you can so you’ll have less noise in your photos. You can also use ISO 100 in lower light if you’re using a tripod, using a wide aperture, and/or shooting a stationary object. You want to use a higher ISO if you’re shooting a moving object in low light, if you want to use a narrower aperture or if you’re getting unwanted motion blur. The higher the ISO, the faster shutter speeds you’ll be able to use. And a little bit of noise isn’t all so bad. In the future I’ll show you how to decrease the noise in post processing. But my rule of thumb is to shoot with the lowest ISO I can and still get the photo I want. The less noise I have to take out in post processing, the better!

I hope you’ve learned something today! Next week we’ll put the previous three lessons together and shoot in manual! Now, I’m not a certified expert on this stuff, so if you notice a mistake, or if something is confusing and needs clarification, let me know and I will fix it or answer any extra questions! If you have any suggestions, questions, or ideas for future tips, tricks, or tutorials, comment or tweet at me and I’ll address them in future posts!

Have a good week and don’t forget to follow @IggleBugs for updates and encouragement! If you use the hashtag #IggleBugs365, I will try to retweet a few photos every day!

Also, if you want to nominate someone for IggleBug of the Week, tweet @IggleBugs with your nomination!