Improve your nature photography with these camera settings

Nature provides almost endless opportunities to capture fantastic photographs. Learn how to create epic outdoor shots with these tips.

nature photography camera settings for landscape photographersNature provides almost endless opportunities for photographers – particularly in Australia where we have native birds, animals, wildflowers and incredible sweeping landscapes. Unfortunately, if your camera settings aren’t right, getting the perfect shot can be a big challenge.

Here’s some tips to keep in mind when you head out into the great outdoors.

Set your camera to the correct file type

Adjust the file type to RAW rather than JPEG. Although RAW produces much larger file sizes, the quality of your nature photographs will be much better. JPEG formats strips away some of the sharper details in order to deliver a condensed file size. Choosing RAW lets you capture the fine detail, giving you more to work with when you start editing (learn the difference between RAW and JPEG).

Check your light

Before taking nature photographs, take into consideration the natural light of your surrounds and the subject you're capturing, especially for landscape photos. Time of day and the amount of light can impact the quality and sharpness of your photos.

Crucial here is the exposure triangle (ISO, shutter speed and aperture). There’s no perfect setting for nature photography, you just need to adjust the exposure triangle in line with the light on offer.

Note your shutter speed

If photographing animals, you might have to act fast before your subject gets away. Raising the shutter speed will help you get the shot you’re after, without the blur of movement, and limit camera shake in the process.

Consider depth of field

Trees or flowers are terrific subjects and, unlike animals, they’re generally stable. When focusing on flora, you can capture some great colours and natural textures, like wood graining and the fine details of flowers and leaves.

Flowers give you a great opportunity to try macro photography. For these shots, you’ll generally want longer exposures and smaller apertures so take a tripod to limit camera shake.

Explore more of what you can do with your nature photos with Lightroom and Photoshop.