Landscape Photography Camera Settings


today I am in June Lake June Lake is one
of the Mammoth lakes in the Eastern Sierra California and today we’re going
to talk about the camera settings I use for my landscape photography as you know I like to keep things very
very simple so we will go through four main settings which are metering
exposure focusing and shooting so follow me along and we’ll go through all these
to make sure that our landscape photography will have the best camera
settings possible so the first camera setting I want to talk about is metering
how do i meter my landscape scene I mainly use two kind of meetings spot
metering or matrix metering which is the way Nikon calls the balanced metering
throughout the scene I want to say the 90% of the time I will use the matrix
metering and I will use the spot metering just when I want to make sure
that the light is right on a specific part of the scene for instance in my
foreground as a matter of fact if I use a light meter and I meter the lower part
of the scene at f/8 I will have 1 over 125 of second while if I meter the sky
at f/8 I will have 1 over 1000, let’s see what the matrix metering will do and the matrix metering at f/8 will give
me one over 320 which means is trying to balance the light throughout the scene
in order not to have the lower part of the scene too dark and not to have the
sky too bright clearly this image has a lot of dynamic
range because there is a huge difference between the upper part of the scene and
the lower part so ideally not only I want to use the matrix metering but I
also want to add a graduated neutral density filter which is going to
decrease the dynamic range of this image making my sky look a little darker let’s
take a photo so let me grab my filters I like to use a polarizer filter in order
to reduce the glare on the water and now as I said I like to darken the
sky a little bit and so I will use this filter which is a graduated three stop
neutral density filter which has a soft edge so we’ll place this filter in order
to cover with the darker part the sky in my picture so my exposure was one over 320 the
light went down a little bit but with the polarizer and end the graduated neutral
density filter my exposure at f/8 is now one over 30 okay this is not a masterpiece but it
was just useful in order to let you see how to meter a scene with a very
diverse lighting and as you can see from the histogram the matrix metering did a
very good job because my histogram has actually most of the details in the
middle and it’s not picking towards the highlights it’s not picking towards the
shadows but now I will move and find a different scene different composition to
talk about exposure see you there so it’s the middle of the day there is a very
harsh light so I take a break and I’m going to talk to you about exposure the
exposure triangle is is made of three components your f-stop so your aperture
your shutter speed and your ISO for general landscape photography I always
set my camera in aperture priority and I will tell you why I want to be in full
control of which aperture I will work with because I often want to use
apertures that are going between f/8 or f/11 I want to prioritize the sharpness
in my images and often your lenses will work at best in the mid-range of their
maximum and minimum aperture so for instance in this 20 millimeter lens
which has a maximum aperture of f1. 8 and a minimum aperture of f-22 the best
performance will happen between f/8 and f/11 if instead I need a a wider depth
of field I will then step down to possibly f-16 or even f-22 if the
foreground is very close to my lens and I also have something very very far away
the second component of the exposure triangle will be the ISO and for the
ISO is very simple I will keep my ISO at the lowest native sensitivity
possible in my Nikon d810 the lowest sensitivity is ISO 64 and most of my
images are taken at ISO 64 I want to have the minimum grain possible the
minimum noise possible and so I rarely increase my ISO and the third component
of the exposure is the shutter speed at this point if I’m working with the
aperture priority and I have a fixed ISO the shutter speed will be whatever it is
and it’s not gonna make a big difference because most of my images are taken on a
tripod at the same time if there are moving elements
your image things will change a little bit for instance in my Long Exposures
if I want to emphasize the movement of the clouds or movements in the waves
then of course I will prioritize the shutter speed but for general landscape
photography aperture priority lowest ISO are possible and then use the
shutter speed that you’ll need my scope here is to smoothen the water in
order to get some reflections of the clouds into the water let’s see what
happened when I’m here in the woods I always look
for bears I just read the sign on the way here
don’t feed our bears and I really don’t want to feed the Bears but this area
is full of bears, I am just just cautious, in the end there is a reason
why on the California flag they put a bear as you can tell we have a lot of lakes
in this area in this one is named the Horseshoe Lake from here I would be
talking about focusing and my preference for landscape photography is to focus
through the viewfinder manually the reason behind this is that if I use the
Live View mode and I use the display I get distracted by other elements and I
feel that I’m able to focus more in my composition and do a better job in
focusing if I look through the viewfinder I prefer to do it manually
for a few reasons often in landscape photography the focus will fall into
water or clouds like in this scene and so the auto focus will not work very
well another thing is that I often do long exposure photography so if I use
the auto focus and then I forget to set my manual focus before putting my
filters in front of the lens the auto focus will be hunting focus so I feel
better off having manual focus start to finish if you are focusing through the
viewfinder most of the camera have a diopter adjustment you want to make sure
that that adjustment is right for your eyesight because if that diopter
adjustment is wrong all your focus will be wrong waiting last Lake and last setting of the day
let’s talk about shooting you might say do I need to have special settings for my shooting well I say if you’ve been following all this tutorial all the
way through and you took care of all the settings until now for sure you don’t
want to have a shaky image it’s just because you didn’t take care of the
shooting so I will tell you what is my preference my preference is to use the
mirror lock-up so that when I touch the shutter button for the first time the
mirror will actually move up and lock and then when I touch the shutter button
for the second time at that point I’m taking the picture for my long
exposure though I will actually use the remote shutter release for my second
touch so first time mirror goes up second time I take the picture
now if you don’t have a remote shutter release and your camera doesn’t have a
mirror lock-up well the solution is to use the self-timer just set your self
timer for two seconds three seconds whatever is convenient and then we’ll
touch the shutter button one time and then the picture will happen a few
seconds later but at that point you are sure you’re not touching the camera so this is all for today I hope this
video was useful to you and you learned something new if you like this video
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thanks for watching and I will see you in the next video

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