How to pick camera settings for outdoor photography.
Learn how to use camera settings like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to capture beautiful outdoor shots.
Outdoor photography comes in many forms. You can shoot portraits, action shots, or landscapes in bright sunlight, shaded forests, or dark campsites — but each one requires a different camera setting. Here’s how to pick the right ones for great outdoor photos.
The best camera settings for outdoor photo shoots.
Since there are so many versions of outdoor photography, it’s best to get an understanding of how camera settings work so you can adjust them to fit any situation.
- Aperture - How wide the lens opens. An aperture (or f-stop) around f/4 or lower is good for single subjects, while an f-stop around f/11 is best for group shots and landscapes.
- Shutter speed - How long the shutter stays open. Long shutter speeds under 1/100 are best for low-light situations, and fast shutter speeds over 1/100 are better for hand-held (no tripod) and action shots.
- ISO - Sensor sensitivity to light. A high ISO of 800 and above will let you use a fast shutter speed in low light, but it’ll also make photos grainy by adding noise. Keep your ISO as low as possible without letting your shutter speed get slow enough to blur your pictures.
You can also use equipment to enhance outdoor photos. Use a flash in low light to let you maintain a fast shutter speed without increasing your ISO. This will give you a great way to take pictures of people in the dark. Or use a tripod to stabilize the camera. As long as the subject is still — for example, a dark landscape — you can take long exposure shots with a low ISO, even in low light.
Use photo editing software to up the game.
Even if you’ve taken a photo that’s too light or dark, you can use a photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to make them picture perfect. Not only can you change exposure, shadows, and highlights, but you can also use the color adjustment tool to add vibrancy to any outdoor shot.