Landscape Photography Camera Settings

today I am in June Lake June Lake is one
of the Mammoth lakes in the Eastern Sierra California and today we’re going
to talk about the camera settings I use for my landscape photography as you know I like to keep things very
very simple so we will go through four main settings which are metering
exposure focusing and shooting so follow me along and we’ll go through all these
to make sure that our landscape photography will have the best camera
settings possible so the first camera setting I want to talk about is metering
how do i meter my landscape scene I mainly use two kind of meetings spot
metering or matrix metering which is the way Nikon calls the balanced metering
throughout the scene I want to say the 90% of the time I will use the matrix
metering and I will use the spot metering just when I want to make sure
that the light is right on a specific part of the scene for instance in my
foreground as a matter of fact if I use a light meter and I meter the lower part
of the scene at f/8 I will have 1 over 125 of second while if I meter the sky
at f/8 I will have 1 over 1000, let’s see what the matrix metering will do and the matrix metering at f/8 will give
me one over 320 which means is trying to balance the light throughout the scene
in order not to have the lower part of the scene too dark and not to have the
sky too bright clearly this image has a lot of dynamic
range because there is a huge difference between the upper part of the scene and
the lower part so ideally not only I want to use the matrix metering but I
also want to add a graduated neutral density filter which is going to
decrease the dynamic range of this image making my sky look a little darker let’s
take a photo so let me grab my filters I like to use a polarizer filter in order
to reduce the glare on the water and now as I said I like to darken the
sky a little bit and so I will use this filter which is a graduated three stop
neutral density filter which has a soft edge so we’ll place this filter in order
to cover with the darker part the sky in my picture so my exposure was one over 320 the
light went down a little bit but with the polarizer and end the graduated neutral
density filter my exposure at f/8 is now one over 30 okay this is not a masterpiece but it
was just useful in order to let you see how to meter a scene with a very
diverse lighting and as you can see from the histogram the matrix metering did a
very good job because my histogram has actually most of the details in the
middle and it’s not picking towards the highlights it’s not picking towards the
shadows but now I will move and find a different scene different composition to
talk about exposure see you there so it’s the middle of the day there is a very
harsh light so I take a break and I’m going to talk to you about exposure the
exposure triangle is is made of three components your f-stop so your aperture
your shutter speed and your ISO for general landscape photography I always
set my camera in aperture priority and I will tell you why I want to be in full
control of which aperture I will work with because I often want to use
apertures that are going between f/8 or f/11 I want to prioritize the sharpness
in my images and often your lenses will work at best in the mid-range of their
maximum and minimum aperture so for instance in this 20 millimeter lens
which has a maximum aperture of f1. 8 and a minimum aperture of f-22 the best
performance will happen between f/8 and f/11 if instead I need a a wider depth
of field I will then step down to possibly f-16 or even f-22 if the
foreground is very close to my lens and I also have something very very far away
the second component of the exposure triangle will be the ISO and for the
ISO is very simple I will keep my ISO at the lowest native sensitivity
possible in my Nikon d810 the lowest sensitivity is ISO 64 and most of my
images are taken at ISO 64 I want to have the minimum grain possible the
minimum noise possible and so I rarely increase my ISO and the third component
of the exposure is the shutter speed at this point if I’m working with the
aperture priority and I have a fixed ISO the shutter speed will be whatever it is
and it’s not gonna make a big difference because most of my images are taken on a
tripod at the same time if there are moving elements
your image things will change a little bit for instance in my Long Exposures
if I want to emphasize the movement of the clouds or movements in the waves
then of course I will prioritize the shutter speed but for general landscape
photography aperture priority lowest ISO are possible and then use the
shutter speed that you’ll need my scope here is to smoothen the water in
order to get some reflections of the clouds into the water let’s see what
happened when I’m here in the woods I always look
for bears I just read the sign on the way here
don’t feed our bears and I really don’t want to feed the Bears but this area
is full of bears, I am just just cautious, in the end there is a reason
why on the California flag they put a bear as you can tell we have a lot of lakes
in this area in this one is named the Horseshoe Lake from here I would be
talking about focusing and my preference for landscape photography is to focus
through the viewfinder manually the reason behind this is that if I use the
Live View mode and I use the display I get distracted by other elements and I
feel that I’m able to focus more in my composition and do a better job in
focusing if I look through the viewfinder I prefer to do it manually
for a few reasons often in landscape photography the focus will fall into
water or clouds like in this scene and so the auto focus will not work very
well another thing is that I often do long exposure photography so if I use
the auto focus and then I forget to set my manual focus before putting my
filters in front of the lens the auto focus will be hunting focus so I feel
better off having manual focus start to finish if you are focusing through the
viewfinder most of the camera have a diopter adjustment you want to make sure
that that adjustment is right for your eyesight because if that diopter
adjustment is wrong all your focus will be wrong waiting last Lake and last setting of the day
let’s talk about shooting you might say do I need to have special settings for my shooting well I say if you’ve been following all this tutorial all the
way through and you took care of all the settings until now for sure you don’t
want to have a shaky image it’s just because you didn’t take care of the
shooting so I will tell you what is my preference my preference is to use the
mirror lock-up so that when I touch the shutter button for the first time the
mirror will actually move up and lock and then when I touch the shutter button
for the second time at that point I’m taking the picture for my long
exposure though I will actually use the remote shutter release for my second
touch so first time mirror goes up second time I take the picture
now if you don’t have a remote shutter release and your camera doesn’t have a
mirror lock-up well the solution is to use the self-timer just set your self
timer for two seconds three seconds whatever is convenient and then we’ll
touch the shutter button one time and then the picture will happen a few
seconds later but at that point you are sure you’re not touching the camera so this is all for today I hope this
video was useful to you and you learned something new if you like this video
leave me a comment share with your friends hit the like button and of
course if you didn’t subscribe yet I think it’s the right time to do so
thanks for watching and I will see you in the next video

100 thoughts on “Landscape Photography Camera Settings

  1. Thank you Attilio. I found this video very informative and helpful! The reminder about adjusting the DIOPTER improved my focusing results.

  2. Hi Attilio. I always enjoy your tips. I have one for you also, I live in California, and sometimes hike and shoot in bear territories, such as Yosemite. At Big 5 sporting goods, you can buy a spray can of bear repellent for about 40 dollars, it comes with a little holster you can wear on your belt. It's very powerful, like industrial strength pepper spray. I did see a black bear last year in Yosemite, and I don't wish to be eaten by one.

  3. Hi Attilo, great video. One question, if your ss was 1/320 before putting on the filters how did you calculate to arrive at 1/30 ?

  4. Thx for this video in which was easy and exactly explained all necessary for making of perfect landscape photos …

  5. A good video with lots of useful tips. You explain HOW you focus but WHERE do you focus to achieve front to back sharpness?

  6. Ciao Attilio, mi sono appena iscritto al tuo canale in quanto ritengo, a giudicare dalla tua maglietta, di avere almeno 2 grandi passioni in comune con te. Una è la fotografia paesaggistica che spero di migliorare anche con i tuoi video e l'altra… be' non andiamo fuori tema. Complimenti ancora per la qualità dei tuoi scatti e per la chiarezza e completezza dei tuoi video.
    A presto!

  7. Good video! I add one more step in the focus check process. After I take a test shot, I go to Live View and press the center button of the multi selector (which is a 100% crop) and while zoomed in I scroll the image to check for sharpness.  Thanks for the video.

  8. I just discovered your videos and they are awesome. Quick questions, what is the accessories that you were using to keep your filters and also what lens do you use for your landscape. Last one do you have video about D810 basic settings for landscape photography. Great teaching!

  9. Some lovely Californian scenes Attilio. Your film making is top notch and could have been made by the bbc. The neutral density filter is an item I never used thus far. I will certainly try this item in my new digital adventure come Springtime here. Thanks ever so much Attilio.

  10. I like your big filters. Are they only available for your type of lense? I’m am currently using the little screw in ones.

  11. Do you have time for hiking too when taking pictures?Or you just walk a little and take photos the rest of the time outdoors?

  12. Truly educational vid! I have questions, though: If I use an ND grad filter, shouldn’t I use spot metering instead of matrix metering? For if I use matrix metering with the ND grad filter, then the camera will try to balance the exposure of the entire scene, thus making the darker portion of the scene lighter? And if I were to use spot metering, then I should meter something at the foreground or midground (or anywhere below the dark portion of the ND grad), so it doesn’t take into account the darker top portion when doing the exposure. Is my understand correct or do I just stick to matrix metering even when using an ND grad? Please explain. Thanks!

  13. Hey Mr. Ruffo, I feel like I was with you together for that places. Thanks for all your kind tutorials.
    Normally I did manual mode, but I'll set A priority for next shooting following your advice.
    Thanks again.

  14. You mention increasing your depth of field by using a smaller aperture (F16 to F22). Have you or do you use Hyper Focal distance or Focus stacking? Pro's and con's please. I enjoy your videos a lot.

  15. Does anybody have any recommendations on where a beginner can start learning all the photography terms? Or free any online course recommendations. Great video!

  16. Attilio hi. Where are your focus points in the photos contained in this video. All the best , William

  17. I really appreciated your tips very much . Very simple and clear. You voice is very clear and understandable to foreigners. Thank you from Portugal.

  18. Beautiful video. Thanks! I got confused around 7:20, where you mentioned about adjusting to suitable shutter speed in Aperture Priority mode. I thought user has control over only Aperture in that mode.

  19. I liked this tutorial very much. I like your style.
    I have never used the MUP shooting mode option. Will give it a try.
    I laughed at your bear comments. You need to throw in more of this
    honest to God humor. I’m still smiling.

  20. Tks Attilio ! I have recently caught on to the idea of Aperture Priority mode for my landscapes. Your video has helped significantly.

  21. Taking about shutter release triggers.. What's up with the Pluto trigger??? Maybe they can send you one to try out? It looks cool. but I don't know anyone that's got one.

  22. Sono abbastanza sicuro che l'apertura focale con il massimo rendimento di quest'ottica sia da f5.6 a f8. Però fare foto di paesaggio a f5.6 non è per niente semplice…

  23. Complimenti attimo felice di seguirti! Anche su Instagram.. una domanda.. ma sei italiano o italoamericano? 😊👍🏼

  24. You are amazing teacher , thank you for your effort! .. keep up good work dear attilio ..

  25. Hello Attilio, I love your videos and the way you explain yourself. I am a beginner just under a year, I have a Canon 80d, and a 17-55mm Canon (main one). I love landscape photography and I wish to take some beautiful photos like yours one day.
    I noticed that you answer everyone's comments, credits to your passion and professionalism!
    Ciao un saluto dalla Sicilia.

  26. Fantastic lesson Attilio. Your suggestions on filters in this and another videos was very useful for me. One request – Would you be kind enough to do a video on how to use Photopills to determine shutter speed timings for long exposures? The videos on Photopills in youtube are very technical and not “human” like yours 😊

  27. Finally someone that explains the process in depth and in a simple manner. Beers are on me if I'm in California.

  28. Hi sir,Beautiful beautiful just simply magnificent with your amazing patience of teaching and explaining small details and more over sharing important aspects of settings just too overwhelmed.I have a dream to be an fine art black and white photographer as well as fine art color photographer,I would love to learn from you more and ardent follower of yours.I hope to learn from you more and more to better myself in fine art photography and want to do an course with you soon sir.Honored and its my huge priviledge to have met you.Cheers thank you for your beautiful tutorials and please keep up the good work going always,Buddh bless you and your sweet family always🙂❤❤❤

  29. I love your tutorials and I'm learning so much, lots of thanks! In fact, I'm just wondering about the order when you use the three types of filters: which goes in front, middle and back? thank you once again

  30. Hi Attilio . Thank you so much for your videos. I think i have seen all your videos and i'm still viewing them again. Thank you!

  31. Been watching Attilio's vids for quite a while but never thought of subscribing to his channel. But now I thought if this citadel of creativity isn't appealing enough for me, what is? What happened nxt? I've subscribed. Attilio, you're a paragon of talent.

  32. Thank you very much Attilio. It may be 14 months since you shot this video, but you're very informative and have a lovely natural style. A pleasure to watch and inspire.

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