The 4 Primary Elements of Photography Part II

White Balance:  This is the color temperature of your shot.  You MIGHT think that using the auto features of your camera are close enough and that if you shoot raw, you can make it 100% correct in Photoshop or Lightroom raw.  BUT, those settings in LR or PS don’t take into account various other light sources such as ambient light and believe it or not the age of your strobes lamps can change a white balance.  As strobes get older they tend to turn brown and this will affect a color balance slightly.

So, for best white balance readings, use a gray card and set your white balance.  Read your camera’s manual on how to set white balance.

ISO:  This sets the light sensitivity of the camera sensor.  A higher number means a faster sensitivity, but you will sacrifice speed for graininess.  In most digital cameras, the grain starts to show up at an ISO of 800+  it’s small and minute, but it gets worse the higher you go.

To understand how ISO works, I like to think of something that Bryan Peterson an award winning photographer said about iso.  He used the analogy that if you think about iso as worker bees, if you have 100 worker bees making the photo, it will take longer.  If you have 400 making the same size photo, they can work much faster. The other thing to keep in mind is that when you have more bees, you have more noise. It’s the same thing in the photograph. The higher the ISO, the more noise will show up in your photos.

I usually set my ISO for the lowest number possible for the shoot – 100-200 if possible.

In part III, we’re talk about shutter speed and fStop and how they work together to make the shot.