Camera setup is a process of prime importance. Regardless of the type of shooting: portrait, macro mode, landscape or group photo, the photographer needs to be able to handle the camera so that the quality of the images is at their best every time, and the frames require a minimum of post-processing. Automatic selection of options, “built-in” into each camera, does not always cope with the task: photo artists, professional photographers, as well as beginners who like to experiment, must be able to adjust the camera manually. If you are looking for an article where DSLR camera settings are explained, then we recommend that you continue reading.
During setting the camera, it is important to consider the fundamental features. In addition, by adjusting the camera on their own, ignoring the auto modes, the owner of the equipment will be able to create amazing effects and make the image look exactly as he intended. Do not want to dig into the options so as not to spoil anything, but want to be able to correctly and independently set up the camera – read this article. We reviewed the basic manual settings, told why they are needed and how to use them.
In this article, you can find a lot of information on how to make the right shots in order to earn on photostocks.
Mandatory Adjustable Values
If you don’t know how to set up a camera yet, we recommend that you continue reading this article to get some basic information. To get a high-quality photo that will delight the photographer with clarity, color balance and naturalism, you need to correctly adjust the white balance. This value will help to display the colors in the photo as the user needs. Exposure control is intended to darken or brighten the photo. The function is useful at the time of shooting, which is carried out in the dark, as well as in too bright light: the sun glare will not “light up” the frame.
We are telling you how to set up a camera. In addition, the photographer should correctly focus on the subject in order to make it stand out as the main one. By adjusting the focus distance, the user changes the angle of view, thus placing a large image in the frame, for example, a distant landscape, or a small one – a photograph of a flower, insect, snowflake at close range – a macro photo.
Interesting: for compact cameras, focusing is adjusted using the “+” and “-” (“closer” / “further”) keys / options, while for DSLRs and system cameras, adjustment is carried out using a special ring mounted in the lens.
It is important for high-quality photography to set the shutter speed correctly, which will help to create a detailed frame at night, to “catch” the subject of photography in motion, in order to get a picture without a train. The photographer also needs to take care of the aperture, because correctly set parameters – a cool depth of field: the user gets the opportunity to lighten the photo, concentrate on the key object, while blurring the background. Before starting to shoot, the photographer should definitely check the sensitivity of the device to light. These indicators are adjusted depending on the degree of illumination of the space in which the photographer is working. To set up a camera, you need to understand the basic principles of its work.
Attention: in super-bright light, the sensitivity can be left at the minimum mark, and in the dark, you can choose a value close to the maximum: clarity and elaboration of every detail, the absence of artifacts is ensured.
Adjusting the White Balance
To achieve natural reproduction of colors and tints in a photo, you should adjust this value before shooting: otherwise (especially for photographers shooting in jpeg) post-processing will help only a little. White balance (WB) color control is carried out using a white sheet of paper, which is attached to the lens. It is necessary to carry out camera setup for photography.
5 stages of setting up the BB:
- Switch the optics to manual mode and place a white piece of paper / handkerchief against the objective lens.
- Point the camera at the subject and take a photo.
- Switch the lens back to auto.
- In the camera menu, select the option for self-adjusting the WB and confirm the selection. Find a shot with a white sheet and check in the menu if a manual setting is defined.
- After the user has adjusted the parameters, the camera processor will save the reference image as a sample, which will allow you not to re-adjust the balance under the same conditions, and when shooting in any format. When the lighting changes, the photographer only needs to repeat the above procedure.
Interesting: if you do not have a white sheet at hand, use a pure white plastic bag (no colored drawings and inscriptions) and put it on the lens. The bag should be tight enough to make it difficult to read the text on the camera through it.
A little earlier, we said that a “tripod”, without which a good exposure, and therefore a good shot, will not work, consists of shutter speed, aperture and light sensitivity values, because each photo requires a specific amount of light. If the exposure is in order – the clarity and naturalism of the image, too. These three exposure cues control the dose of light directed into the lens. Step by step setup makes it possible to get the desired result.
If you are new to DSLR photography, then we advise you to understand, at least briefly, how all the camera settings work. Despite the fact that each of the modern cameras is equipped with an option that “locks” focus automatically, in some situations, for example, when taking pictures in “macro”, photographers are forced to focus the lens on the subject themselves in order to set focus with precision. When the photographer works in low light: during foggy weather, at a party with a running smoke machine, the automatic focusing function does not “cling” to the subject, since all objects falling into the optical field of view look equally blurred. The user determines the focus manually and when creating a series of photographs that capture dynamically moving objects: animals, athletes participating in a competition, dancers.
4 steps to tame your focus:
- Find the switch on the lens from “automatic” to manual control AF \ MF or A \ M. Move it to M (MF).
- Gently rotate the focusing ring on the lens while viewing and controlling the degree of sharpness in the viewfinder. Repeat these manipulations until the clarity of the frame becomes satisfactory.
- Shoot at night – use the distance scale marked on the optics. It will help determine the distance.
- Evaluate the photo by viewing the captured photo on the display: enlarge the image to ensure that the sharpness of the photo is at its maximum.
Are you wondering “how to use my new DSLR camera”? Then you should study the general structure of the camera as a whole.
A component of the structural part of the lens – aperture / aperture – an element that allows you to set the size of the light-transmitting hole on the matrix or film. By changing the exposure steps (adjusting the hole diameter), the photographer not only brightens / darkens the frame as needed, but also adds artistic effects. Thanks to the aperture, the user controls the parameters related to the depth of field (DF) of the space that is depicted in the photograph. Opening the aperture to the maximum allows you to achieve the lowest HH, which allows you to highlight the subject or subject being captured by the photographer and blur the background. The maximum “wide open” aperture is used in portrait photoshoots.
To make each element in the photo look as clear and detailed as possible, the diaphragm, on the contrary, is closed. This technique is used when shooting group shots, landscapes. Too open an aperture leads to a blurry photo, and too closed – to the fact that dust particles that are on the matrix will be visible in the frame of digital cameras. To prevent this from happening – tune this value with great care.
The length of time the shutter opens to let light through to a component that is sensitive to it is called shutter speed. As with the camera aperture, the longer the shutter flaps are held open, the more light enters the frame. Readings for this value are displayed in milliseconds and seconds. The minimum value, in contrast to the maximum, is variable – depending on the focus distance. By choosing a short shutter interval, the photographer freezes the moment to capture a falling drop of water rushing the car at high speed. When choosing the long option, the user will take a good photo in motion: the camera following the subject will “catch” it, so it will remain in focus and the background will be blurred.
ISO is a value that reflects the sensitivity of the film / sensor to light. This indicator is directly related to noise: the more sensitive the camera component to light, the more noise (the film has more grain).
In order not to stumble upon too overexposed or, conversely, black pictures, play with light and create artistic effects, the photographer should use special options that involve manual exposure control.
Manual Mode M
This set of options is designed for professional magazine shooters and photographers alike. M allows the photographer to experiment and unleash their creativity. In addition, if the user has defined the settings correctly, there is no need to edit photos on the computer. Using the built-in exposure meter, the photographer will be able to quickly select the exposure pair that he needs for a particular photo and a series of photos, consisting of aperture and shutter speed.
When the exposure meter is set correctly, the exposure metering values will be within zero limits. Do not rush to choose the exposure value: create several photographs “for trial”, and then – correct if required. By rotating the adjustment wheel located on the photographic equipment, the user controls the shutter speed, and by adding just one movement to the rotation of the wheel – pressing the key located on the panel located at the top of the device, the photographer will adjust the aperture.
Such fine adjustment will help to achieve the value the photographer needs with even the slightest movement. If the photographer randomly determined the exposure, did not take into account the meter readings, or used them on another scene, then the photographs will turn out to be too overexposed, dark or washed out. If the pictures are of poor quality, but the photographer has adjusted everything without errors, he needs to reset the exposure compensation.