ISO Settings for Dog Photography - dummies

ISO Settings for Dog Photography

By Kim Rodgers, Sarah Sypniewski

Your ISO setting is a number that represents how sensitive to light you need your camera’s sensor to be. The amount of available light you have is the major determining factor when considering ISO settings during your dog photography sessions.

If you have a lot of light, your camera doesn’t need to be very sensitive, so you can set your ISO to a low number (for example, a typical ISO setting for daylight shooting is 100). If, on the other hand, you don’t have much light, your camera needs to be really sensitive.

For example, if you’re indoors, you need to bump up your ISO to a higher setting. The amount of light available indoors varies greatly depending on how much artificial light you have and whether any windows let in natural light.

If you find yourself in a fairly bright indoor space with lots of natural light flooding in, you may have to increase your ISO only minimally (to 320, for instance). If you’re in a very dark space, you need to increase your ISO much more drastically (to 600, for example).

Take a moment to look at your own camera and scroll through your available ISO settings so you know what you have to work with. ISO settings vary from camera to camera, but a standard range of ISO settings in full-stop increments is 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1600.

Further ISO options may be available if your camera works in half-stop increments or smaller. For example, your camera’s ISO settings may be 100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250, and 1600.

You want to always keep your ISO as low as possible because the higher you push your ISO number, the more grain you see in your final photo, which can result in poor image quality. The better your camera is, the less you have to worry about this, but pushing the ISO too far is a concern that should always be in the back of your mind.


50mm, 1/500 sec., f/1.8, 800