In my opinion, the right settings are the key to getting a good photo. After all, they control exposure, motion blur, noise, and part of the depth of field. While I cannot tell you the exact settings to use at any one time, there are some basic guidelines which you can follow to achieve certain results.
To continue with this month’s Featured Topic (wildlife), here are some tips on how to improve your wildlife photographs using settings:
- Keep your shutter speed high – perhaps 1/250th of a second or less (unless you want to give your photo a more creative look by blurring). If you find you are continually getting motion blur in your photo, try pushing your shutter speed until it is 1.5 times that of your focal length (i.e. for a 300mm focal length, go for 1/450th of a second).
- If you find you are struggling to change your settings fast enough on manual mode, try Av (Aperture Priority) instead.
- Set your Auto Focus (AF) mode to AI Servo (for focusing on moving objects) or AI Focus (if subjects move, the AF mode will switch from One Shot to AI Servo).
- Try and keep your ISO low – you don’t want noise in your photos – unless the light is very low and you are desperate for the shot. (The maximum ISO you can have without getting noise will be determined by your camera – basically, the bigger the sensor, the higher you can push your ISO.)
- In order to achieve the fastest shutter speed possible, set your aperture to its lowest setting.
- Use Continuous shooting, especially if your subject is moving – after all, you don’t want to miss the shot!
- Depending on the weather, it is usually a good idea to use Daylight White Balance.
Don’t miss next week’s post, where I will be discussing photographing birds.