ISO1000This weekend I published a new lesson in the SnapShop site: ISO 1000 & Above {examples of the process}

I thought I would share an excerpt from the lesson with a few of the photo examples and their settings here today.

In general the lowest ISO setting you can use, the better. As you increase your ISO, you increase the grain in your photos and often the colors become dull. Every camera handles ISO differently, but the goal of a low ISO is typically across the board. However, using a high ISO does not mean you automatically have a less than ideal shot. There are plenty of times that the ability to increase your ISO results in capturing a photo that you will treasure.

Below are several photos that I used an ISO of 1000 or higher. Using a high ISO is not limited to only indoor settings without natural light. Sometimes bumping your ISO outside in good light allows you to get the shot you want.

50mm, ISO 3200, 1/100, f/2.0


50mm, ISO 2000, 1/125, f/1.8

highISO-0350mm, ISO 2000, 1/160, f/2.0


85mm, ISO 1000, 1/100, f/1.8


50mm, ISO 1000, 1/320, f/2.8


24mm, ISO 1250, 1/60, f/14


35mm, ISO 2000, 1/60, f/1.4


34mm, ISO 1600, 1/50, f/2.8


Since we often hear to avoid high ISO settings, many quickly jump to turn on their flash. Before defaulting to your flash, I would take a moment to consider what will help you best communicate your story: would more bright light help or would a high ISO? Knowing the goal of your photo will help you determine when to use a high ISO and when to use a flash.

In the SnapShop lesson, I walk through each setting and why I chose it for each photo. In addition to these photos, I also share several other favorites using high ISO settings. For more information on my photography courses (SnapShop) and how to register you can click below. I add new lessons each month on a variety of photography related topics.

You can use the code HIGHISO today and tomorrow for $10.00 your registration.

The code expires at midnight CST 3.1.16.


For current SnapShop Members, be sure to visit the site to access the new lesson!


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  • Oceana | Barefoot Beach Blonde - Great examples, I think that even a bit of grain is often better than the blow out that comes with most camera’s flash settings! I’m curious, are you a RAW shooter? Or do you shoot only JPEG?

  • jenw - I’m not a camera girl…but that last photo with LO blowing out the candles just really got to me. Boy 1 & 3 are clearly watching the candles. Girl 1 seems to be watching Daddy. And Chris…Chris is just watching his youngest with such an expression on his face. You ought to print that one out on canvas! It’s a keeper for sure!

  • Meg - I love this tip! I am excited to try it out. I bet this would be great around the campfire!

  • Jenny - Love this post! After having a couple of my favorite lenses stolen, I haven’t gotten back out with my camera for a while. It’s time I do, and this post was just the inspiration I needed. I couldn’t love your photography more.

  • Tammy - What jenw said. That picture took my breath away…the expression on Chris’s face brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart.

  • AshleyAnn - Oceana – I shoot jpeg. I really think RAW is only necessary if you are going to do a lot of editing. I don’t have time or interest in doing tons of editing. Jpeg is smaller file size too, so it works for me. I do shoot RAW for certain things – really difficult light in a never happen again moment (for example: capturing a baby being born in a dark hospital room).

  • Oceana | Barefoot Beach Blonde - Thanks for your response Ashely. Yes I only started shooting RAW recently but I’ve become a little addicted to it! I think it might be time to get back to JPEG for a change :) Thanks for your tips!

  • Jenny B. - Loved this lesson! The majority of my shots are high ISO since I’m always taking pictures inside my house. The ability to use high ISO without getting a lot of grain is the main reason I bought my Canon 6D. :) I’ve been shooting RAW for quite a while, and I edit (in Adobe Camera Raw) every picture I plan to print. I appreciate being able to fine tune the photos, especially for white balance. The files are HUGE, though, and I’m considering going back to jpg since my hard drive is FULL. :)


I’m sharing another simple gift idea today. I’m thinking in late April I will do a round-up of all these ideas for all those looking for teacher gift ideas. While I was in Ecuador, my friend Emily (Jones Design Company) sent me a package of the prettiest paper goodies from her new shop Paper Works….2.16paperworks-04

Paper Works is a monthly printable design subscription site ~ modern & pretty designs.

I couldn’t handle the idea of only using them once, so I had a few of my favorites laminated. There is a place in town that does pretty cheap laminating, but it doesn’t hold up well, so for things I need to last I opt for higher quality. I have a business account at Office Depot (big discount on printing and laminating!). The lamination there is much thicker and durable – I highly recommend it. I also use the ultra fine tip dry erase markers.

My kids are super pumped to have pretty chore charts. Maybe not, but their mom is…2.16paperworks-06Once laminated they can be used multiple times, so I thought the single sheets would make a cute gift to share with friends.2.16paperworks-08I combined them using kraft paper and ribbon. Since the small cards would just slide out, I taped those to the bigger sheets…lamination means the tape will come right off.2.16paperworks-092.16paperworks-112.16paperworks-01Emily has a referral program, which I jumped at the opportunity to join. You can get $5.00 of your first month of Paper Works by using my link. If you are thrilled with the product, you can get your own unique referral code to share too!

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  • Emily - These are so cute! I need cuter to-do lists. We have a menu and a calendar (from mpix) that are laminated and I find that a wet-erase marker for those long-term things works better than a dry-erase. It’s harder to accidentally erase them!

    Also – I love Emily’s blog, too! How funny that you’re friends. The world really is just a lovely little community, isn’t it?

  • Byron - I use The Apple Tree for lamination. It was (the last time I laminated there) very good and inexpensive. Not sure if you’ve tried them.

    As cute as your to-do lists are, I must admit that this is never happening in my house. Allyblu bulldog would just ignore any chore I gave her…. 😉

  • Diane - These are awesome! Do you know what the cursive font style is of the titles for the bible verses and list titles? Thanks for sharing

Last month I wrote a post about my daughter and a quest to find top notch left handed sewing scissors for her. I asked you all for your advice. Whenever I have a random question – I ask Google or you guys! There were so many terrific recommendations – thank you! Among the comments there was a generous offer to pass down family shears to my daughter. I deleted the comment for the giver’s privacy. She had been passed down her grandmother’s left handed shears and was looking for someone who could use them.

I was so touched by her thoughtfulness.

One day the shears arrived and accompanying them was a handwritten letter. Not a note. A letter. I sat down with my daughter, who was already beside herself about having her own left handed shears, and we read the letter.

2.16shears-01She told us stories about her grandma and the games she played with her grandma’s sewing supplies. She mentioned a love for Anne of Green Gables, “Instead of making her sad, the little troubles in her life inspired her to use her imagination to look at all things with joy and anticipation for the surprises they might bring.”2.16shears-032.16shears-04“She (her grandma) taught me that with just a little fabric and a sewing machine, I could make just about anything I imagined and set my mind to.”

We read her letter every time we pull out the shears. I love that my daughter gets to ‘know’ a little about the woman whose shears she now uses and the granddaughter who sewed alongside her. People are pretty amazing. Generous. Kind. Thoughtful. I know some days it seems like the only ones we hear about are those that cause pain, spew hate and make this world feel very dark. However, people are amazing.

Left handed shears and a handwritten letter to a 6 year old little girl remind me of that truth.

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  • Southern Gal - That was such a sweet, sweet gift for your girl! I can tell the shears and especially the letter will mean so much to her in the years to come.

  • Kristin - Thank you for sharing this story. This week has felt very dark to me, as I am hearing too much about the hate spewers. I really needed this!

  • Tiffany - Such a sweet story. Love your pictures.

  • byron - How wonderful!

  • Allison - Beautiful. Generosity like that is awe-inspiring.

  • cindy - what a beautiful story! how very thoughtful.

  • Emily - Such a sweet story, thanks for making my day!

  • Emily - What a wonderful gift! Thank you so much for sharing <3

  • Tanya - Beautiful! I love the good in life and that is good!

  • Marsha - As one whose grandmas made a huge impact on my sewing from a tender age, and whose scissors are often used alongside my own, this is beautiful and breathtaking. Thank you to the woman who sent these scissors to this young lady. Clearly they were made for her!

  • Rae - <3<3<3<3

  • janelle - This is such a sweet story! this is the good i love to see- it’s goes right along with the Pollyanna world I try my hardest to live in! See the good!

  • Sarah - I look forward to reading your posts every day specifically to be uplifted – you’re my morning coffee break :). Loved this post, and hope that the generous and thoughtful woman that did this knows/sees here how inspiring she is, not just to you and Firecracker, but also to the rest of us. I’ll look for an opportunity to do something like this in the future.

  • Kate - What a beautiful gesture. There really are so many good people in the world these days. Thanks for sharing this story with us!

  • Christine - What an amazing story and a wonderful gift for your daughter! Thanks for taking the time to share it.

    My own mother was right handed and had no idea what to do with a lefty for a daughter. I ended up using my right hand to scissor, and many other things, partly for lack of supplies. I don’t notice now, of course, but my mom still feels badly that she didn’t support my handedness by adjusting her teaching methods. She knows I forgive her, that there’s nothing to forgive, really. But your daughter may one day have a right-handed daughter like mine, and be grateful for your extra support in letting her use the predominant hand. It’s quite tricky to teach certain skills in reverse!

  • Tiffany C. - What a love-filled gift to treasure forever~~ <3 Beautiful legacy!

  • Nakcus - So thoughtful. Beautiful story. Blessed!

  • Inspiration Round-Up {No. 9} - - […] in LOVE with their Instagram. {Plus, Aqua. Basically, anything aqua is a winner in my book.} | 3. This. Story. | 4. I just heard of Chatbooks from Ashley’s blog. It looks like an easy {& cheap!} […]

  • iamcart - This is the greatest story EVER! I have a little lefty too and I can NOT wait to teach her to embroider, sew, everything I love and was taught by my grandma and mother too. How special, thank you for sharing!

  • Kristin S - Well, that just made me all weepy!
    I’m sure that brought as much joy to the giver as it did the recipient.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh – I just love people. And thoughtfulness. And letters. Such a great story.

  • Monday Morning Elevenses - […] Ashley Ann Campbell: Left Handed Shears & A Handwritten Letter […]