Camera Settings - BLUE CLOUD PHOTOGRAPHY



Camera Settings for Beginners

One of the questions I love seeing on my images is "what settings did you use?"


Your camera's metering system plays a vital role in picture-taking. It works out how much light should enter the camera to make a correct exposure. It's very clever, but it's not completely foolproof. The problem with multi-zone metering systems is that it takes an average reading, and this reading is assumed to be a midtone, or in other words, halfway between white and black. More often than not this assumption comes out right, but a metering system can struggle when a frame is dominated by areas of extreme brightness or darkness. 


Sunrise at LA Harbor Lighthouse, San Pedro, CA

Camera Settings for Landscape Photography

A Quick Look at Basic Camera Settings for Landscape Photography

Camera mode:  Manual or Aperture Priority

Shutter Speed: N/A - use a tripod - even longer if using ND filters (bulb mode)

- Car Light Trails - 3-10 sec

Aperture: Closed (f/9-f/16)

ISO: As low as possible; 800 max

White Balance: Auto WB (Shoot in RAW you can change in post later)

Autofocus: Auto, then Manual

Focus Stack: blend 2-3 images together to get sharp focus in the entire scene, just focus on close, mid and far and blend in Photoshop 

Servo Drive Mode: Single, Mirror Lock up, Remote Shutter

Weather: No Wind
Steady Tripod


In general, you need to read the scene.  the most important part is to not overexpose the highlights.  If you do, you cannot recover them in post.



Camera Settings for Portrait Photography

A Quick Look at Basic Camera Settings for Portrait Photography

Camera mode:  Manual or Aperture Priority

Shutter Speed: 1/250 or faster (or 1/LENS mm)

Aperture: Wide open (f/1.4-f/2.8)

ISO: As low as possible; 3200 max

White Balance: Auto WB (Shoot in RAW you can change in post later)

Autofocus: AI-Servo Drive

Mode: Single

Metering

When shooting portraits, light skin tones can easily trick the camera into underexposing the shot. You'll notice this more when shooting full-face photos or when there's lots of white in the scene - brides at weddings are a prime example. This can be quickly corrected though with your camera's Exposure Compensation controls. To begin with, try dialing in up to +1 stop of positive Exposure Compensation to lighten up people's faces. Review your shots, and if you feel you they need to be lightened further, increase this further.

Aperture

When shooting portraits, it's best to set a wide aperture (around f/2.8-f/5.6) to capture a shallow depth of field, so the background behind your subject is nicely blurred, making them stand out better. Shoot in Aperture Priority mode to control depth of field; in this mode your DSLR will helpfully set the shutter speed for a correct exposure. Specialist portrait lenses tend to have even wider maximum apertures (from f/1.4 to f/2.8) in order to blur backgrounds further.

Shutter Speed

As a general rule, make sure your shutter speed is higher than your effective focal length. For example, at 200mm use a 1/250 sec shutter speed or faster.




Camera Settings for Bird Photography

A Quick Look at Basic Camera Settings for Bird Photography

Camera mode:  Manual

Shutter Speed: 1/500 or faster (or 1/LENS mm)

Aperture: Wide open (f/1.8 - f/9)

ISO: 800 min; 3200 max (need good light)

White Balance: Auto WB (Shoot in RAW you can change in post later)

Autofocus: AI-Servo, single point focus, back button focus, or tracking if flying

Drive Mode: Continuous.

Metering: average

Expose for the bird

Expose to the right on the histogram


Camera Settings for Hummingbird Photography

A Quick Look at Basic Camera Settings for Hummingbird Photography

Camera mode:  Manual

Shutter Speed: 1/1200 or faster (or 1/LENS mm)

Aperture:  (f/9-f/11)

ISO: 800 min; 3200 max (need good light)

Shadow pointing to the bird, use morning light, or side lighting

White Balance: Auto WB (Shoot in RAW you can change in post later)

Autofocus: AI-Servo, single point focus, back button focus, or tracking if flying

Drive Mode: Continuous - 10fps

Metering: average

Expose for the bird (use aperture priority and +/- compensation, or use manual and change ISO)

Expose to the right on the histogram 



Camera Settings for Drone Photography

JPEG + RAW

Start with Auto, then switch to Manual

Photo Panorama - set it up to save RAW files

AEB 5 bracketed shots

Burst mode - take 5 shots and stack later to remove noise - click here for more info

---Mads Peter Iversen Published on Jun 14, 2018 Noise reduction is an essential part of upping the quality of your photos. In this tutorial, I'll show how you can greatly reduce or remove noise and keep the sharpness of any photo, by taking multiple photos and stacking them in Photoshop. I'm using a drone photo from my DJI Mavic Pro Platinum as an example, but you can use any kind of photo you like and I'll show you the drawbacks of this technique.



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