How to photograph anything: best camera settings to use in any situation

How to photograph anything: best camera settings to use in any situation

How to change your camera settings

Getting sharp images: every photo technique you need to know starting out

Before you start shooting, you’ll need to know how to change the key settings on your camera. Here’s a quick guide to the settings, and see this issue’s disc for more tips.…

Aperture
To take control of the aperture that you are going to use, switch the mode dial to A or Av to select Aperture Priority mode. Then use the input dial to select the different apertures available on your lens, and the camera will automatically set the shutter speed.

Shutter speed
If you want to change the shutter speed on your camera, select Shutter Priority, which is indicated by S or Tv on the mode dial. You can then choose the shutter speed by using the input dial on the camera, and the camera will automatically adjust the aperture for you.

ISO
To alter the sensitivity setting, press the button marked ISO, and then use the input dial to choose the ISO. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive your camera is to light, so in general choose a low number such as 100 in bright conditions and a higher value such as 800 when it’s darker.

White balance
There is usually a button marked WB that you press to change the white balance. Then you can select either automatic, where the camera chooses the white balance, or one of the preset options such as daylight or tungsten to suit the light source you are shooting in.

Focus mode
On most models there is a button marked AF that will allow you to choose whether the camera will focus continuously (C or AI Servo) while you half-press the shutter release, or will only adjust the focus once and stay locked until you release the shutter and press it again (S or One shot).

Focus point
To select an individual focus point, press the Focus Point button. Then use the input dial or four-way controller on the back of the camera to highlight different focus points to make them active. On some Canon and Nikon models, you can simply use the rear control pad to move the focus point.

Drive mode
To choose whether the camera will only take a single image when you press the shutter, or keep firing while you hold down the shutter release or self-timer delayed shooting, press the Drive mode button. Then choose from the options. Some higher-end models have a separate Drive mode switch.

PAGE 1: Why change your camera settings
PAGE 2: How to change your camera settings

READ MORE

Best camera focus techniques: 10 surefire ways to get sharp photos
49 awesome photography tips and time savers
99 common photography problems (and how to solve them)