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Settings on your camera #photography

Camera settings: narrow aperture

Last week I talked about pre-shoot settings. I did those settings before I took this shot. You can see the exif on bottom of the picture. It was bright sunlight, so I set the white balance for bright sunlight and set the aperture quite narrow for depth of field. The ISO was on auto and the camera increased it to 160. That is strange, I have no idea why it did that.

camera settings: wide aperture


Using aperture priority, I set the aperture very wide at f/3.5 to see the difference. Notice that now there is a lot more light coming into the camera with a wide aperture, the shutter speed has changed to a really fast 1/640 of a second. The difference in the pictures? Look at the rail along the edge of the grass and the branches of the tree on the right. They are in sharper focus and although not very noticeable the background is more blurred. Notice the light, we have a pale blue sky and bright light. That bright sunlight produces shadows and they can look really black. The bright sunlight will often be too bright for the landscape setting so for a sharper picture, you try to do the settings yourself.

Camera settings: wrong white balance

White balance

What’s wrong with this picture, do you think? Yes, it’s very blue! It was freezing when I took a few pictures yesterday and so it was a quick dash from the car  to take a few pictures and back again. The camera was on M – manual and I did set the aperture at f/8 and shutter speed at 1/200 second. I didn’t do any pre-shoot settings; I forgot. The camera’s white balance was still set for fluorescent light; so turned the picture blue. A shame really, it looks an interesting picture!

Changing settings is about creating a different kind of image. Some photographers prefer images with vivid colours. I prefer the colour to be more subtle and look for separation between the different shades of colour. A DSLR gives me a greater range of options for creating images. I have took some pictures with my Fuji bridge camera this week and it was hard to even set the aperture on manual. My Nikon has a lot of settings and buttons and looks complicated, but in fact doing the settings is much easier than with a bridge camera.

Camera settings: wide aperture

Some photographs will sell to newspapers and magazines from an image library. I think this one might. Notice the aperture, it’s really wide for a landscape type shot. I wanted the steps in sharp focus. This is the New Square in West Bromwich; you can see a weird New Square sign on the wall. This is what we call trendy in the Black Country. I think this picture might be suitable for a library. I doubt if I could get an image as good as this with my Fuji. Notice the pattern of the block paving,  the wide aperture makes it sharp in the foreground, but out of focus in the background.



You can look at exif by looking at the properties of your image. This is a screen snip from PhotoScape showing the exif from one of my images. PhotoScape will also put the exif onto the images. Notice the light source is fine weather, that means I set the white balance to sunny for the image I used earlier with the aperture set at F/22. Notice the metering mode on matrix ( whole picture). It doesn’t give the focus, but that was matrix or 3D focusing too.

If you find all these settings confusing, don’t worry. Just set your camera on landscape and go out and shoot landscapes. You only need to do manual settings if you want to create images for art, competition or maybe to sell them. My local newspaper used a photo yesterday that I took with my cheap Fujifilm S5600. The camera was set on landscape for that shot too!

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