Here are some settings for landscape photography that you need to know:
- Metering Mode: Matrix (evaluative)
- Drive Mode: Single shot
- Shooting Mode: Aperture priority (‘A’ or ‘Av’)
- Aperture: f/8 to f/16
- ISO Setting: 100 to 200
- Shutter speed: Automatic
- Focus Mode: Single Shot
- Auto-Focus Point: Single point autofocus
- Focal Length: 10-24 mm on APS-C camera
- Image Stabilization: On
Aperture priority (‘A’ or ‘Av’): With landscape photographs you often want everything in focus so you need an aperture (f-stop) that is large enough to focus past the immediate foreground (f/8-f/12). If however you have an important foreground object that you want to be sharp and remain in focus consider using an aperture like f/16-f/22.
Note: If you select aperture priority mode you will control the aperture while the camera will decide on the shutter speed.
ISO: ISO controls how sensitive the camera is to the light hitting it with the range between 100-6400 or higher. Where possible you want to stick with an ISO of 100 or 200 as when you start increasing it you can introduce noise in the photograph.
Shutter speed: For landscape photographs the shutter speed will not only affect the exposure but also how the sky and water will look. A quick shutter speed (1/x where x is double your focal length) will freeze the motion whereas a longer shutter speed (>1 sec) will produce a stringy or cotton candy effect. At greater than 20 secs you will start to see star trails. In low light you may need to increase the shutter speed as it will take longer for the same amount of light to hit the camera’s sensor. When shutter speeds increase you are going to need to have a tripod and be careful when pressing the shutter to avoid picture blur. If you don’t have an external shutter button (app?) then consider a 2-second delay in the camera’s settings.
Note: If you want to control shutter speed as well as aperture then change your camera’s shooting mode from aperture (‘A’) to Manual (‘M’).
If you would like to learn more about the exposure triangle (aperture, shutter speed and ISO) click here.