Understanding ISO in Food Photography

Hi guys! Today I have a short little post for all of you about understanding ISO in food photography. I recently got a new DLSR camera and ISO has made a huge impact on how the pictures look. ISO in short term, is basically how bright a shot is. Today, I have a few examples of how ISO can dramatically improve and RUIN your shots. Subject A: chocolate chips.

ISO = 100

ISO = 100

Can you even really tell those are chocolate chips? ISO 100 was wayyyyyyy too low for this lighting setup. (FYI I always use natural lighting in my photos now.)

ISO = 200

ISO = 200

Better. But not really.

ISO=400

ISO=400

Okay, maybe this is getting better. Still not good enough.

ISO=800

ISO=800

Close. Really close.

ISO=1600

ISO=1600

I think I’ve done it. I hit the sweet spot for this lighting! I was seriously jumping up and down when I got this picture.

ISO=3200

ISO=3200

Wrong. Just wrong.

ISO=6400

ISO=6400

Yeah. As you can see, the ISO 1600 was definitely the winner here. But, who knows, if you have more light where you are taking pictures, you might be able to pull it off with just an ISO 100! The possibilities are endless.

Happy Picture taking and have a good Monday!

-Will (aka Junior High Foodie)

 

 

2 comments on “Understanding ISO in Food Photography

  1. Alexandra @ Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker on said:

    Have you tried using a larger aperture (lowering your f-stop)? That would be if you’re using manual mode or aperture priority mode on your dSLR…
    I just thought I’d suggest it, because the higher you put your ISO, the more grainy your image is going to get. Usually I try to range between 100 and 400. Occasionally I’ll bump it up to 800, but I’ve found that by then the quality of the natural light I’m getting is quickly decreasing.
    I got my dSLR about a year ago and it’s so exciting to have the freedom of doing more with a camera, but it takes a lot of learning too! I’m constantly trying to improve my photos as well. :)

    • juniorhighfoodie on said:

      Hi Alexandra!
      Thanks for the awesome tip! I usually use a low f-stop when I shoot for food, and I have had a dSLR for about a month, so I’m not really what you would call an expert. This is really just the stuff that has worked for me! And also, natural lighting can be REALLLLLLY frustrating. Thanks for the wonderful comment!

      -Will(aka Junior High Foodie)

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