Nature & Landscape photography is always fascinating: the different light moods and seasons. I’ll show you which camera settings you can use to get the best out of your landscape motifs.
In order to really enjoy your picture, you need to invest some time. With a few tricks and tips, you’re guaranteed to get more effective, fantastic landscape shots.
Camera settings for landscape photography
This is where the wheat separates from the chaff. I’ll show you which settings improve the quality of your pictures:
In landscape photography, set the ISO value (sensor sensitivity) to as low a level as possible. The lowest is best. The colors become much more intense, the sharpness crisp. If you take pictures with a compact camera or do not want to make the settings yourself, select scene mode Landscapes. The camera makes the necessary settings automatically. If there is snow or on the beach, select the Beach / Snow program.
Recommendation: Shoot in RAW format (digital negative). The image data is not calculated and compressed by the camera, which is why the RAW converter (e.g. Photoshop Lightroom, camera’s own developer) allows you to make lossless corrections. Give it a try. You will be thrilled! For inspiration go to http://www.mocp.org/.
Set the white balance manually to the appropriate setting when the sun is shining and the sky is cloudy. Alternative: White balance on automatic. If you photograph in RAW format, you can make this setting on the PC as desired. Lenses achieve their best imaging performance in the sweet spot, which usually lies in the range from f/5.6 to f/11. Test your lenses with a test image. This way you know which aperture delivers the best image quality. In any case, you should stop down by two steps.
Closing the aperture completely (for example f/32) makes little sense. The diffraction blur increases. Test this with your lenses. Depending on the quality and design, it doesn’t matter much – or a clear blur can be seen. If possible, focus manually. If you want to keep the focus in landscape photography from foreground to background, select a small aperture (f/11, f/16) and focus on the hyperfocal distance. Sounds complicated – but is simple.
If you’re shooting with a tripod and need shutter speeds longer than 1/60s, turn on mirror lock up. The photo is then taken with a delay and the minimal vibrations are eliminated.
- If you want to capture landscapes at night or with slow shutter speeds, see Long Exposures for useful tips.
- When shooting bright subjects (snowy landscapes, beaches, light sand), you may need to adjust the exposure by + 1 to 2 EV. Check the results on the camera display.
Lighting and lighting scenes Landscape photography
Photos you take at noon in the sun often look flat and dull. This has to do with the fact that the light comes almost directly from above and has little shade. If you shoot early in the morning or in the evening (or when the sun is low in winter), the light is much stronger and the shadows create a special dynamic in the picture.
Especially great pictures are taken shortly after a rain zone, when the still dark clouds hang in the sky, the rain in the background puts a curtain over the horizon and the landscape shines in intense colors.