general advice on choosing camera settings
I get daily emails where I am asked for suggested camera settings to start off with. And I have to explain that giving specific settings are mostly meaningless since the scenarios we encounter vary so much. Which also means that anyone giving you specific advice such as: 1/60th @ f5.6 @ 800 ISO with -0.3 flash compensation … is lying to you.
In terms of the combination of aperture, shutter speed and ISO, here is a useful algorithm:
- Use an aperture that will give you enough (and just enough) depth-of-field,
- at an ISO that gives you as little noise as you (or your clients) are comfortable with.
(always keeping in mind the end use of the image.)
- at a shutter speed that is fast enough to give you the least amount of camera shake (and subject movement). Quite often the simplest way of improving image sharpness is by raising shutter speed. Other times you can get away with surprisingly slow shutter speeds to allow available light in.
In terms of flash photography, the only setting I can give that you absolutely have to be aware of, is your camera’s maximum flash sync speed. There is something very sweet happening there. But that is the topic of a separate posting.
There really is no shortcut for knowing the fundamentals. You HAVE to know how shutter speed and aperture and ISO settings inter-relate / exposure metering / depth-of-field / and so on. There is no shortcut. You have to know these basics to be able to grow as a photographer. This topic was touched on in a previous posting here: things you need to know. An innate artistic sensibility will only take you so far when you don’t have the technical grasp to translate it into the images you want to achieve.
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If you find these articles interesting and of value, then you can help by
using these affiliate links to order equipment & other goodies. Thank you!