In the third part of our Shoot Like A Pro series on how to photograph any subject you want we take a closer look at the best camera settings for landscape photography. While you’ll often have time to experiment with camera settings when shooting landscapes, it’s still good to have a starting point. In this week’s guide we’ll show you how to set up your camera to achieve maximum depth of field, shoot a sunrise or sunset and add motion blur to subjects like moving water.
Best camera settings for landscapes with maximum depth of field
Keeping everything sharp, from the closest foliage or rocks right into the far distance, is a classic landscape photography technique.
There are loads of technical charts and data that can be used to work out what’s known as the hyperfocal distance, but shooting with a wide-angle lens, such as an 18mm on an SLR with an APS-C sized sensor, you don’t need to get bogged down in them.
Choosing a small aperture, such as f/16, and manually focusing around three metres of the way into the scene will allow you to keep everything from around a metre away from the camera to the far distance in focus.
Although it’s not critical for this technique, you should also make sure that the shutter speed set by the camera is fast enough for you to hand hold the camera steady enough to avoid camera shake.
If the shutter speed drops below 1/30sec you’ll need to put the camera on a tripod, or increase the ISO setting to 200 or 400.
How to set up your camera to achieve maximum depth of field
Exposure mode: Aperture Priority (A or Av)
You need to set the Exposure mode to A or Av, and then select a small aperture such as f/16. Going for this small aperture will ensure that there is plenty of depth of field when using a wide-angle lens.
Focus mode: Manual
Switch to manual focus, and then carefully focus on a subject which is around three metres from the camera. This will mean that everything from around one metre to infinity will be sharp in your shot.
Shutter speed: Set by camera
Lens: 18 to 24mm
Drive mode: Single shot
White balance: Daylight
PAGE 1: Best camera settings for landscapes with maximum depth of field
PAGE 2: Best camera settings for sunsets and sunrise
PAGE 3: Best camera settings for adding motion blur to your landscape photography
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Landscape photography ideas for rivers, waterfalls and lakes
Landscape photo ideas for creative pictures of mountains and hills