WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY CAMERA SETTINGS: Focusing and Exposure

In this video I talk about my thoughts on the best camera settings for wildlife photography.

I concentrate on Focusing and Exposure. These are the two areas that seem to cause the most confusion especially for beginners and when I do 1-2-1 tuition.

PLEASE NOTE: As I say in the video, THERE ARE NO PERFECT SETTINGS so these are my thoughts on what has worked for me over many years in the field and what I think is a good approach for someone new to wildlife photography or anyone struggling with any aspects of focusing or exposure. The key is to start simply and then evolve in to more complicated options as your skills and results improve.

I start with Focusing and suggest some “No Brainer” settings and chat about the issues effecting efficient focus.

Then I move on to Exposure and begin with a sensible “Go To” setting that works in most situations and then move on to more advanced settings such as Manual exposure and finally the setting I l really like to use if it’s an option for me at the time, which is Manual with Auto Iso.

I have added some examples to illustrate the various settings and discuss why they helped for the photos concerned.

I wanted to keep the length of this video to about 15-16 minutes but failed miserably !!! so apologies for it’s length but I thought it better to keep it in one video as a sort of reference guide rather than breaking it to say 3 separate videos.

To make it easier here are the start times for various topics if you just want to skip to the bit relevant for you.

02:16 Three No Brainer settings your camera should be set to.
04:17 Focusing
06:25 Focus Points. How many and why?
07:59 Exposure
09:41 Aperture Priority (with EV compensation)
11:05 Examples of AP
12:09 Why Aperture Priority and not Shutter Priority
13:44 Examples of staying in Aperture Priority but using shutter speeds creatively
14:36 Using Exposure Compensation for Special Situations
16:57 Examples where dialling in Exposure Compensation was vital
18:17 How much EV compensation to dial in
19:44 Manual Exposure mode
21:28 A classic example of when Manual Exposure makes sense
22:31 AUTO ISO (in Manual exposure and Aperture Priority)

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I’m proud to be a member of represent NATURE FIRST: The Alliance for Responsible Photography where as photographers we agree to adhere to and educate others on the need to practice sustainable photography that minimises impact on the environment and helps to preserve nature’s beautiful locations. There are 7 guiding principles that mean a lot to me and exactly fit my approach to photography. Find out more at www.naturefirstphotography.org/

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My website: www.nigelmorley.co.uk

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ABOUT ME: A long time passionate wildlife/landscape photographer and conservationist, I have always shot different genres of photography but now my subjects are largely driven by love of countryside and wildlife/landscapes especially in the UK. I have a long term conservation project ongoing involving restoring land that was previously arable farmland back to wildlife friendly set aside with wildflower meadows and zero spraying etc

Posted in Wildlife Photography.