Landscape Photography | Conquering the Camera Settings

Landscape Photography | Conquering the Camera Settings

Hello and here we are again ready to
shoot some landscape photography in today’s video what I thought I would do
is spend this video talking a little bit more about landscape photography
settings it’s something a lot of you asked me about a lot so today I will
show you my process. Also today’s episode is sponsored by Squarespace if you need
a website a domain name or an online store make your move with Squarespace In a lot of my other videos I talk
quite a bit about composition and how I visualize a shot, how I then set the
camera up, position it, the perspective all that type of thing which is how I
capture the scene in front of me. I’ve been a little bit reluctant though to
talk about the camera settings but this video is dedicated to that.
When I first attach my camera to the tripod I’m always going to switch it
into manual mode because I think that…. or I want the camera to be an extension
of my arm, of my body, or just when I put it on a tripod it’s an extension of me
and to do that or to achieve that I think you need to have full control over
what the camera is doing so manual mode is the place to be I then it will always
shoot in RAW I just don’t see any reason not to shoot in RAW after that I then
think about the exposure triangle now that’s the relationship between aperture
shutter speed and ISO I’ve got an ebook if you want to download that that
explains all of them in detail but it’s essentially balancing the exposure
triangle to get the right effect or the right exposure for you. So I’ll generally
start with ISO and ISO 100 is going to work for the vast majority of situations
there are some times when you might up it a bit to get the shutter speed up as well
but most of the time I’m going iso 100 After that I’m going to think about the
aperture and I use the aperture to adjust my depth of field mostly if I
have something in my foreground that’s quite close to the front of the lens
then I’m going to have a higher aperture number which means a smaller actual
aperture so usually around f/16 you’ll be able to get everything in focus but
if you don’t have anything particularly close to the front of the lens then I
want to maximize the sharpness that the lens provides and I’m going towards f/8
that’s around the area where you’re gonna get maximum sharpness sometimes
you’ll go to f/11 dependent on that foreground again but f/8, f/11 or f/16
will be the vast majority of my shots. I then just use the shutter speed to I
just roll the shutter speed up and down to get the right
exposure I will use it creatively sometimes with long exposures but that’s
how I use the shutter speed just to get the exposure right so if you can
master the settings on your camera get that manual mode nailed down then that’s
when it’s a bit like driving a car just becomes second nature you won’t remember
your journey or what you’ve done on your camera and then you just really start
getting those creative juices flowing okay so that’s that I’m gonna pack the
stuff into the bag again I want to get a shot taken so I found this beautiful little cove
here with this tremendously impressive waterfall. When you want to practice
your landscape photography settings in manual mode there’s nothing better than
finding a waterfall and there are lots of them when you’re shooting in the UK
so I’ve got my shot composed here I’m at a vertical and I’m just getting the
stream leading you up into that waterfall and then that waterfall is
prominent in the shot. The sky above has a few flakes of blue and a bit of cloud in
there as well and I’m managing to capture that all in one frame because
the dynamic range of my camera is pretty good and it’s relatively good light for
shooting this sort of shot so all I’m doing here is because I’m not using any
filters other than the circular polarizer to take the glare off the shot
off the water that is…. I’m at f/22. I’m or I’m working between f/18 and f/22 when
we’re thinking about the exposure triangle that I talked about earlier what
that allows me to do because I’m reducing the amount of light coming into
the camera I can then increase my shutter speed and
I’m at….. I’m only at one quarter of a second and that f/22 aperture in the
current lighting is allowing me to do that and what that does is just let the
water move through the frame for about a quarter of a second and it gives you
that nice bit of movement in the water ISO for this shot is at 100 I want the
least amount of sensitivity from the sensor and I want a nice clean image
which is so 100 gives me so I’m gonna wait for the light to go overcast
again and then I’m going to capture this shot beautiful scene let’s shoot it. okay so I’m pretty much back where I
started at Ribblehead Viaduct this is a composition I have shot before last
time I did a vlog here it’s a really nice composition. You get a good view of the
viaduct and then you get the Ingleborough mountain in the background and that’s
the same composition that I’ve gone for today but today I’m going to use it to
show you what I do to get the exposure right how do i meter my shot? First thing
I do is like I said get the exposure triangle right with the sort of creative
way I want to have it so I’m f/16 here because I’ve got some of these Reed’s in
the foreground of the shot and I want them to be sharp and I want them to be
within my depth of field so I’m at f/16 I’m ISO 100 I’m then at a 1/10 of a
second and the way I go about getting that exposure is firstly I will look at
the meter, the built-in meter, on the camera a lot of the time it will then be
okay but I will then check it using the live view mode so I just click into Iive
view it pops up on the screen and you can use the LCD screen itself to
see how the image will look I will then use the histogram to get it as spot-on
as possible so my histogram here is looking pretty good it’s not peaking to
the left with the blacks it’s not peaking to the right with the highlights
and then I’m not going off the top which means it’s over exposing for that
certain colour tone I also use it for focusing a lot of time because the focus
on this camera using the live view is absolutely perfect
if you camera doesn’t have the touch to focus on the LCD screen
look through the viewfinder focus in then switch the automatic focus off so
you then in manual focus that’s focusing and metering let’s take the shot. Two
second timer is on there so it doesn’t move around and that is looking really
good okay so I am set up for my final shot
of the day and this is my composition pretty much with the viaduct going left
to right in the scene and then I’m hoping to get lots of beautiful golden
light on that viaduct shining through with some big shadows and that should
look really good. I’ve got the camera really low down on the floor because I’m
on this limestone ledge and I want the ledge to appear as if it is right in the
frame in the foreground and then just leads you in straight up to the viaduct
without getting all of this sort of rubble and rubbish from this old cave
system here. Settings wise I am at f/16 because that stone ledge is right in the
foreground and very very close to the lens it’s still looking sharp at f/16 so
I’m happy with that i’m at iso 100 again and when you are
shooting the sunset you are always going to have a much brighter sky than you are
in the foreground so balancing the exposure is the challenge with a shot
like this you’ve either got bracketing or you’ve got ND grads, I use bracketing
because it’s easier. I usually do two stops either side that’s what I’m doing here
and it’s going to be a really nice scene when sunset comes I’m gonna capture that
moment it’s actually gonna come just before sunset because it’s gonna dip
behind mountain there first but I hope you have got some value out of just
seeing how I go about using my landscape photography settings because once you
master it you then just don’t need to worry about it in future and partly
that’s why I haven’t included in my videos up to now because I don’t want it
to be the thing you focus on it’s not the camera settings that are going to
make you a great landscape photographer it’s about the visualization about
getting out actually into these amazing landscapes and then just putting your
personality into your photographs and the camera settings are purely a technical
thing that you just need to master you can then explore all those other things
that I was talking about before. So I hope you’ve enjoyed the video it is sponsored by Squarespace now….. go to to start your free
trial today and go to to get 10% off your
first purchase and if you could leave a comment down below let me know what you
think of the video and have a bit of a discussion about what settings you use
because I’m learning from you I hope you’re learning a few things from me as
well and it should hopefully benefit all of us.
Anyway, I’ll see you on another video very very soon
I’m Adam this is First Man Photography in the Yorkshire Dales absolutely
stunning Out!!

100 thoughts on “Landscape Photography | Conquering the Camera Settings”

  • What a lovely video. I like the clarity and simplicity in the way you explain a potentially complex subject matter. Thank you.

  • Hello sir
    Your videos are awesome
    I am planning to buy canod 6d
    Which lens are good and affordable for portrait and landscape photography

  • Thank you Adam for a great video. Absolutely breathtaking scenery. I shoot in manual mode as well and love the "control" of the shot. I have used Av priority in the past and like this for some of my landscapes and wildlife as well. I do like both settings and do use live mode frequently to set up the shot as well allowing me to see the histogram so that there is less to do in post-production.

  • One of the best videos I have seen on YouTube. Your video is simplistic which is how it should be. Thank u Adam for such a great video!! Great job.

  • sales del pacifico says:

    taking pictures in manual mode is the best option to learn and understand photography, thank you for taking the time to make this type of videos that are very illustrative for those of us who started taking pictures, congratulations. H.Huppertz

  • Benjamin James says:

    Love the channel dude! I've just uploaded my first vlog 🎥 would love to get some feedback! Cheers Ben

  • Peter Brimhall says:

    Appreciate the video and would encourage you to make more with the "setting for landscape" theme. Not understanding the setting is a big distraction and gets in the way of art. Thanks for the videos, keep up the good work.

  • Chanchala Kumari says:

    Actually I have 1300d camera and when I see preview in manual mode it shows darker visual and when I capture sometimes it comes Good and some time not… And another one is that when I use zoom feature and start to capture the captured one is not In the zoom level that I used…. Please tell me solution

  • TreyD Music & Media says:

    Greetings Adam,
    This is second time that I've watched this video (first was back in September, 2017). I like your direct and simple approach in explaining your preferred settings. You have inspired me to take the leap away from Aperture Priority and explore Manual Mode when I shoot landscapes. Thank you!

  • Unbounded Pursuit says:

    Hey how did you take the glare off the water? (New to cameras and settings and trying to learn). Thanks for this video!! Have any ways of contacting you?

  • Superb explanation of the camera settings for your landscape shots. Please continue to emphasize why you choose certain camera settings to get your beautiful photos. Thank you!

  • Hi Adam great video, ive always used AV priorty and been a bit nervous about going fully mannual but after seeing this im tempted to have a go with my Pentax K3ii. Just wondering about shutter timings do you rely on your camera or use any other means of calculating the speed ? best wishes Mark.

  • Great video Adam. Inspirational and your videos have convinced me to get a super wide angle lens. I know you now have the 16-35 but I picked up a good example of the 17-40 second hand and well priced. It arrives tomorrow can’t wait to get out there.

  • Really well explained video Adam, its great for beginners out there, and I couldn't agree more..Manual mode, I know a lot of fellow landscape photographers use AV mode, but I prefer the full control of M

  • Greg Jaskiewicz says:

    Nice stuff. Please come down to Kent, to have a look around. We have some amazing sceneries here, and I would love to learn a lot more from you!

  • Hariette Gayle Misa says:

    Really nice video…I learned a lot. I am an absolute beginner in photography and want to explore more. Thank you for this video.

  • My first visit and this has been so helpful to me. I have been fretting about my settings for landscapes for ages so thank you very much.

  • I dont usually comment anything. But this video and the place you choce for your landscaping was trully beautifull and so i had to. It made me want go out and shot. Nice video and you kept simple, but enjoyable

  • I am currently doing my Higher photography course and I am doing landscapes. This was very useful to me as I was struggling a bit with the settings 🙂

  • So when taking photography like this, where are you locking focus? Someone mentioned it's ideal to use "double the distance" method; meaning locking focus twice as far away as the closest object in your photo. is this a usual rule of thumb or, for instance, in the waterfall scene, you're locking focus with the waterfall itself?

  • I very recently came upon a photographic concern: "diffraction limiting aperture", and my apsc camera has one at f/5.9. Your 5d4, I think is 9.3. But you shoot some shots at f/11-16+, and you get, I assume, acceptable images. Is diffraction limiting a solid concern for any photographer, now?

  • I came across your video lately, really worth the wait, such an easy way of understanding. Thank you so much for sharing. I would like asking a question If you don't mind answering it, I got a Nikon 7200 & Canon 70D(I have lot of focussing issues with 70d since I bought this) I was thinking to sell both and get a Canon 5D, whats your opinion.

  • Thanks, Adam. Really enjoyed the tutorial and your enthusiastic personality. If I  believe that I could spend a day photographing with someone based on their Youtube channel then I'm a subscriber!

  • Thanks for this tips, especially the last one. Isn't the machine that makes the landscape photographer, but it's all about visualizing.👍🏼

  • Hi Adam
    Thanks for this great video (as usual :). I'm always hesitating on the focus point, I'm never sure where to focus to have a sharp image so I go with trials / errors. Do you have tips on where to focus?

  • if i want to get a camera for travelling, vlogs and landscape photography, what camera type should i get? and what brand is good? i want a good and clear camera with not a price too extreme.

  • orangeUAVpilot says:

    Thanks Adam for the great tips and walking us through your thought process! I’m looking forward to reading your ebook. You’ve got a new subscriber!

  • Well.., in the shot at 8:11 he used an ISO of 100, f:16 and 1/5 Shutter speed. How did he get in that shot the grass on the foreground sharp with a 1/5 of a second shutter speed? There was a bit of wind so there should be motion blur for sure…

  • Photography Enthusiast says:

    So much talking about “manual mode” from digital shooters, those who use film cameras never even think about that nonsense.

  • Hrushikesh Vasista says:

    This is the first video of yours I am watching as a novice. Your explanation is great to follow, not feeling overwhelmed. I look forward to follow your other videos. Thanks a ton!

  • Nice video, tell me why you 1st used auto focus and then switch to manual focus at the 8:02 second of this video?

  • Thank you Adam. I'm quite new to photography and I'm constantly watching your videos for advice and would you believe it they really do work. Lol. Thanks for this particular video. Its really helpful in mastering the exposure triangle and like you said, you can get to the point where you don't have to worry about it anymore as you've got it sussed. Great content, love what you do. Many thanks.

  • Mohamed El Aghoury says:

    Thanks for the very useful info Adam.
    I have 2 questions actually, dont you see that by opening your aperture to f/16 and f/22 will allow the difraction to take place? Since it's too wide open.
    The 2nd one regarding your focusing technique , where do you usually focus to get pin sharp images?

  • Ike H. Varras Roelfsema says:

    Thank you so much for your expertise and your wonderful video's.
    This is the second I watch, what a great start as the Yorkshire Dales have always been my second home!
    I am a 63 year old Dutch woman with an intense love for photography and are so fortunate to live close the the Wadden Sea (National Heritage). I downloaded your free e-book and will watch your other video's. Keep up the good work!!

  • Gary Wakeley says:

    Adam, thanks for sharing your ideas and thought process. The explanation of the manual mode process is concise and demonstrated with precision. A very enjoyable and well presented video. top marks from me. Kind regards Gary

  • Ok so at daylight – keep exposure less and at low light or night – keep it more . can we do the same thing that you did for the waterfall picture , for taillights of a car.. i.e increase exposure?

  • What a great video Adam, thank you for sharing it. I need to get out and about more with my camera and my son.

    Paul from Teesside.

  • Great video. Great video. I have always had trouble with getting settings bang on and have probably always done it the hard way around. I have just ditched my Sony mirrorless and gone with Nikon. I watched a tutorial on the Nikon to help me with setting it up but had to keep stopping the video and going back to try and get it sink in. Everything I needed to do I have now set up in 5 minutes thanks to your plain speaking video. Great stuff and I have now subscribed.

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