Is ISO part of exposure? And why does it matter?

Started Sep 24, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Paul B Jones
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Is ISO part of exposure? And why does it matter?
Sep 24, 2013

There is a fierce debate going on now in other forums as to whether ISO is part of exposure. The debate seems to be over whether exposure is the simple act of letting light onto the sensor or if it includes other elements of producing a well lit photograph including setting the ISO and brightening the image in post-processing.

My question is - does this debate offer anything that would be of practical use to an ordinary photographer?

I photograph mostly birds and my goal is to create pleasing, interestingly lit images. To do this I start early in the day with the camera set on AV mode, the aperture open wide and the ISO high enough to produce shutter speeds that stop the action. As the morning progresses I lower the ISO to get less grainy images and begin to close the aperture down a bit to get deeper depth of fields as needed.

What basic lesson should I take from the ISO is/is not exposure debate to improve my photography?

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