Cloudcroft NM

Cloudcroft NM is about 30-45 min from where I am located and a gain of 4,000ft elevation. It is mountainous and has beautiful views. Since it is January it is very snowy and all of the trails are closed. Though there are many look out points that are very picturesque. We spent the day capturing mountain views and going to the local brewery for beer and pizza. All in all a wonderful day. These pictures have not been edited. I used this time to learn more about shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings. Since it was all new information I mostly used the auto settings to start. I will need more practice but am waiting on some nicer weather for hiking trips.


Iso measures the grain sensitivity of the photo. The lower the setting the darker and less grainier the image becomes and the higher it is the image becomes lighter and more grainy. 100 ISO is the normal standard and will take a lot of practice to determine when this setting will need to be changed. This setting impacts the aperture and shutter speed.

Questions to Ask When Choosing ISO

When choosing the ISO setting I generally ask myself the following four questions:

Light – Is the subject well lit?

Grain – Do I want a grainy shot or one without noise?

Tripod – Am I using a tripod?

Moving Subject – Is my subject moving or stationary?

If there is plenty of light, I want little grain, I’m using a tripod and my subject is stationary I will generally use a pretty low ISO rating. If it’s dark, I purposely want grain, I don’t have a tripod and/or my subject is moving I might consider increasing the ISO as it will enable me to shoot with a faster shutter speed and still expose the shot well.


Aperture is when the lens is open. Like the iris of the eye it controls how much light can get into your image sensor. The higher the setting the more the background becomes blurry and the foreground is sharp and bright, as the opposite goes with the lower settings. It is measured in f-stops, Changing the settings will either double or half the amount of light that gets in the lens. The smaller the f-stop number the more light can get through which creates a sharper focused foreground image vs the higher the f-stop the less light comes into the lens creating a sharper background.

Shutter Speed

Adjusting the shutter speed gives the image either less or more motion blur. It is the amount of time the shutter is open. The longer the shutter is open the more motion and light it captures. It is measured in seconds 1/60th of a second or faster is optimal for regular shoots. Anything slower than 1/60 you are prone to camera shake and will need a tripod. Camera shake is when your camera moves while the shutter is open causing a blurry photo. This setting gives you the option of giving the subject a still motion or showing its natural movements. It’s also good to keep in mind that you must either change the ISO or Aperture when adjusting the shutter speed.

Published by connectedpines

Disabled Veteran traveling with chronic back pain & practicing Ayurvedic self care routines

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