I’ve had a few questions from you saying that you’ve got a new camera for Christmas, and you’re wanting to get more into landscape photography so you’re wanting to know some tips for getting started and want to know any equipment I recommend. I’d recommend learning with the equipment you have first so let’s cover the settings. I will cover the equipment in a different blog.
Learn how to shoot in manual
This is daunting at first. Lots of numbers that don’t make any sense, but once you get used to them you will control them without even thinking about it
What do the setting control?
How long the shutter is open for e.g. on a waterfall
A long shutter speed = Water smoothed out e.g. 20 seconds
A fast shutter speed = Everything is crisp e.g 1/1000
The depth of field (varies photo to photo) E.g.
F2.8 – A flower in the foreground is in focus, the mountains are blurry
F8-F11 – Everything in focus
F22 – Diffraction starts and you will lose a little bit of focus
Image quality seems to peak in the middle on most lenses
How sensitive the sensor is to light. The higher the ISO the grainier the image so you want to keep it as low as possible
100 – Lets in less light, better image quality.
12,600 – Let’s in a lot of light, grainy image.
Understanding the settings | Light and Dark
To begin with, try and think in terms of light or dark. The camera is just a light recording box and you have to fine tune setting the create the images you want.
Faster shutter speed makes the image darker and slower shutter speed makes the image lighter
Making the aperture wider (smaller number) will make the image brighter e.g F5.6 lets in more light than F16
The bigger the number the brighter the image will be
This is where your options come from and it will be based on what you’re willing to compromise on. In my experience, a little bit of a grainy image is better than a blurry one
How do I know when the photo is properly exposed?
If you aim for getting the dial in the bottom of your viewfinder to line up with the middle, your image should be properly exposed. Bear in mind that you can’t always get a properly exposed image without accessories like an ND Grad filter e.g. photographing sunsets where the sky is bright and the foreground is dark but adding accessories whilst your learning can over complicate things.
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How do I choose the best settings?
There are a lot of factors that go into it. What are the lighting conditions? How windy is it? Do you have a tripod? And many more
Ideally, you want to have the ISO as low as possible – ISO 100 on most cameras
In my experience landscapes suit being in focus front to back so choose an aperture between F8 and F11, focus about 1/3 of the way into the image and everything should be in focus
Are you shooting handheld?
1/200 is a good place to start. It’s usually fast enough to avoid getting camera shake (blurry photos). Play around with different shutter speeds to find what you like
Start with 1/200 seconds. F8 and choose the ISO that fits
Are you shooting on a tripod?
You can use a slower shutter speed – keep in mind of things like the wind as if the wind blows the trees you will get blurry bits in your photos. Maybe you like that. I don’t, so if there are blurry bits increase the shutter speed.
Start with ISO 100, F8 and choose the shutter speed that fits
Let me know if you find these tips useful and share your photos around
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