Canon Camera Settings For Outdoor Photography

By | 04/11/2022

Disclosure: This mail contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission if you visit a link and buy something on my recommendation. Purchasing via an affiliate link doesn’t toll you any extra, and I just recommend products and services I trust. All opinions are my ain. Give thanks you for supporting my work!

Have you always panicked while conducting a portrait session outdoors? Have the light and camera settings for outdoor portraits got y’all all muddled upwards? Did the inconvenience outsides make it hard for you to get perfect portraits? Then don’t worry, you are not alone.

Many photographers suffer the dilemma of shooting outside or not. The setting is beautiful, but the lightning and weather are not so conducive. This makes

the photographic camera settings for outdoor portraits

even more than difficult to determine. Sometimes there is too much light, while at other times, information technology’south too nighttime.

The bokeh also becomes hard to manage, while shadows and dissimilarity can ruin the beautifully placed subject. And then if you are unsure of your capabilities of shooting outdoors, then don’t give up. Relax! Because we are here with fool-proof

portrait camera settings

that will give you great outdoor portraits consistently!

Thus, if y’all arrive at a portrait location, and become nervous, agree on tight to these tips that we share with y’all. You won’t find things disheveled or dread the light, nor will you lot discover the scene and subjects challenging to manage.

The best photographic camera settings for outdoor portraits

No setting will be actress wiggly as with the ways identified below, and you volition be able to

primary camera settings

for every
outdoor circumstance. Please don’t freak out because everything we accept described is straightforward to apply. It’s not a scientific equation or complex mathematical problem.

But read through the article thoroughly, and you will chop-chop grasp every word we take explained. Endeavour to follow them every bit advisedly as possible, just remember they are not difficult or fast rules. You can experiment with the settings for outdoor portraits as long as y’all go along the nuts right.

So take out your cameras and get ready to utilise these “become-to” photographic camera settings for outdoor portraits. Exist it your relatives or clients, and everyone volition love your work.

Table of contents:

  • Introduction
  • Group Photography Camera Settings
  • Single Photography Camera Settings
  • Which manner to prefer
  • White remainder for outdoor portraits
  • Aperture for outdoor portrait
  • Shutter speed for outdoor portrait
  • ISO for outdoor portraits
  • Conclusion


Every bit you all know, there is no perfect standard group of settings for outdoor portraits. Each scene and subject is different from one another. So the setting needed for each scene will differ. Thus, you cannot apply all the rules in one go.

In that location is no cheat sheet but a basic set of rules which tin guide you. The rest of the awarding will depend upon your creative eye and potential. The rules highlighted below will assist you proceeds confidence, and so yous tin begin piffling tweaks along the manner.

These won’t help you overnight as it is a learning process. It requires practice to main these settings, so be gentle with yourself and be patient. Information technology volition become 2d nature shortly!

Group Photography Camera Settings for Outdoor Portraits

Pictures of people outdoors can be a challenge itself. And then twerking with settings and balancing exposure can add to the challenges, especially for an

amateur photographer
. Only the results of the outdoor make information technology worthwhile.

As the number of people increases, information technology becomes cluttered to settle them all, information technology too becomes hard to use the camera. You have to ensure that there is enough room for anybody and the settings for outdoor portraits highlight each discipline appropriately.

outdoor group portrait

For that, information technology is best to set up your camera on autofocus mode and let it do the remainder of the piece of work. To brand sure that anybody gets a good part in the portrait, focus on their optics. This way, you want to accept people complaining nearly their function. Moreover, to brand everyone stand out in the frame, it is recommended to mistiness the groundwork. We would show you lot how to exercise this after.

Single Photography Photographic camera Settings

When capturing individuals outside, it is all-time to use single-betoken autofocus. This is because guessing camera modes will become a task. You volition never find the optimal settings for outdoor portraits, so it is all-time to get out it on the photographic camera to find the focus for you.

This is only a piece of communication. Your choice tin vary. We refer to information technology considering each person has 5 senses, only sight is the one they use the nigh. Thus, the eyes on the portrait should be sharp, especially if i person is in it. So to make the subject’s optics look sharp.

male portrait with hat and beard

To a single signal, autofocus is the all-time as the experimented camera modes do not always focus on the eyes. That is why they aren’t our favorite. To focus on only one heart, a single indicate is best as it locks focus on the nearest eye and allows slight re-composition before shooting for satisfaction. You can ever accept some actress shots to check the sharpness of the optics.

Which way to prefer?

In the offset, it is best to select
Auto mode. This is considering it is less complicated. Information technology leads to less confusion, but the drawback is that you lose command. But for beginners who are merely starting, shooting with autofocus fashion is the best thing, especially for outdoor portraits.

This way, the camera will exercise the focusing and so that you are left with less worrying. So you tin can get the return of the big bucks only at the cost of creativity. Outdoor autofocus is a real plus, every bit you have to bargain with other issues as well.

But when you are standing just a lilliputian also shut to your subject, you will feel that the photographic camera autofocus starts to freak out slightly equally it is trying to choose a focal point. So if you are doing close-ups outdoors, it is best to get for transmission focus mode.

This is considering photographers can capture smaller details in manual mode. For

macro photography,

where the photographic camera faces a harder time determining focus, go for transmission mode.

woman portrait close up

Moreover, fifty-fifty though the autofocus mode performs a bang-up job of selecting the correct focus, manual way gives you the most control and consistency. So if you are gear up for some difficulties and the rest of your outdoor settings are easy to tackle, leap to Manual mode.

Then there is
Discontinuity Priority style, which you can besides switch to. In aperture priority, you are choosing discontinuity as the nigh of import aspect of your image. This means that yous opt for customizing the

depth of field

first and assuasive the camera to calculate the shutter speed.

It allows inventiveness just to a sure extent. Only the aperture is manually selected, as it is your priority. Information technology is i step closer to manual mode! It simplifies things as it eliminates guesswork to set the shutter speed. Thus, it is best for outdoor portraits to reduce the amount of stress considering things are irresolute quickly!

Equally the lights and shadows influence images outdoor, this style is recommended. Aperture priority fashion is also recommended to capture candid moments. Additionally, outdoor portraits usually have a good amount of light.

outdoor portrait couple

Then shutter speed isn’t much of a priority, and what is needed most is a prissy shallow depth of field, which you lot tin get by decision-making aperture. Aperture settings are discussed beneath in particular.

However, if there is depression low-cal that puts ode, you should go for
Shutter Speed Priority. Merely this has to be kept in mind that you will take to check your focus to ensure that it is on your bailiwick. In such circumstances, the depth of field becomes less important. That is why the discontinuity is left to exist adamant automatically by the photographic camera.

Some other mode that you tin go for is spot metering, which is mutual for portraits. Photographers usually utilise it for settings for outdoor portraits because it gives command over exactly what area is exposed properly.

This mode will interpret the lite in the center spot of the frame then evaluate your exposure. Without flash, this point, in most cases, will exist the discipline’s face, which volition raise your portrait. Merely if you are

making use of a wink
, you volition need to betrayal the background as well so that the wink tin can illuminate the subject’s face.

White remainder for outdoor photography:

White balance is also an essential aspect of photography. But in settings for outdoor portraits, it becomes even more essential. So here are iii different ways you tin approach it.

Motorcar mode: This is the easiest way. All you take to do is to put your photographic camera on auto white balance. But then you will have to make all the adjustments post-processing. Most of the time, this manner is normally very authentic.

The Expodisc: This is besides a great tool. The Expodisc allows the white balance to be set based on electric current lighting. The only problem is that you accept to change it whenever the light changes). We prefer the Expodisc as it produces excellent results every time.

However, it adds an extra step, which volition bring added stress to your thought process considering calorie-free changes ofttimes in outdoor photography.

Kelvin White Residual: Kelvin is the terminal choice, and it is a temperature color scale that ranges from 2000k to 9000k. It is also referred to as warm orange temperature = 2000k to absurd blue temperature= 9000k.

And so as per your lighting outside, YOU can opt for any numerical value. Information technology might seem not very easy, but life outdoors becomes a lot easier once you figure it out. For example, when it is sunny outdoors, y’all would get for 5500k as there is no need to compensate for the

white residual

Y’all can make small adjustments before shooting with Kelvin. Information technology provides you with an in-photographic camera arroyo to play with light. For example, if it’s a super warm situation outside like crazy vivid sunlight, you will feel the need to absurd the prototype.

With Kelvin, you tin can choose a value like 3000 to give the picture a cool effect. It is honestly Not equally you remember. The only thing you need to do is to recognize what you lot need in your images. Here are some basic tips for Kelvin:

  • Blue Tint / Absurd = Warm and increment value to in a higher place 5500k.
  • Xanthous Tint / Warm = Cool by lowering a value to beneath 4500K.
  • Daylight = correct in the middle of 5000k!

And so the gist is that Motorcar white balance is for anybody, beginners and pros alike. Information technology makes information technology unproblematic. Expodisc is for those who want to play effectually. It allows a custom white residuum for every type of lite, while Kelvin is for advanced photographers who wish to make small white balance adjustments.

Discontinuity for outdoor portrait

Every bit nosotros all know, the three most important aspects of photography are
discontinuity, ISO, and shutter speed. So we will discuss them in terms of outdoor portraits one past one. Outset, when information technology comes to settings for outdoor portraits, information technology is the aperture, mostly the significant one.

This is because it is the f-stops that make up one’s mind the depth of field in your results. It sets the corporeality of compression or blur, which is present in the background. This is of import for outdoor portraits as it tin make or interruption your picture.

You tin cull to shoot “wide open” and opt for an f-terminate like f/1.four-2.8. But when shooting at f/i.four, information technology has to exist kept in listen that maybe some part of the subject will be out of focus. Moreover, equally more people bring together the portrait, yous will accept to

change the aperture

as well.

This is because, if you’re photographing a larger grouping, there will be more rows, and then you will demand a longer depth of field to ensure that everyone is in focus.

Here are some basic tips to understand aperture in 3 quick ways:

  • Ane person = Go for f/1.ii-f/4.0 as it becomes easier to shoot at a wider f-end for private portraits. This is because simply i person needs to exist in focus.
  • 2 people = Go for f/two.0-f/4.0. If the pair or couple is close together on the same focal plane, then an aperture as open as f/two.0 will practice. But if they are staggered, f-stop will need to be increased to f/4.0 and then that everyone is equally in focus.
  • 3-8 people = Go for f/3.two-f/5.6 as it is all-time to opt for a broad aperture in a larger grouping. The selection will also depend upon how people are lined up. If they are more staggered, such as lines in two or three rows, f-stops will need to exist increased even more than. This is because you have to ensure that each person is properly focused. And so wide discontinuity will lead to everyone condign happy every bit they will be sharp and crisp in the final paradigm! An added tip is to focus on the middle person in the grouping.
  • Big group = f/v.6-f/eleven.0. When photographing larger groups, you lot want to make certain that the entire scene is in focus. This tin apply to large family portraits, class photos, or huge conjugal parties. For a more in-depth tutorial on large group photos, click here!

Shutter speed for outdoor portrait

Shutter speed is one of the three components of the

exposure triangle

and plays a vital role. It is the aspect that leads to sharp and crisp images we all desire. So the basic rule for portraits is to set the shutter speed to a minimum of double the focal length of your lens!

It volition perfectly freeze your discipline anywhere and eliminate motion mistiness. Moreover, if you take portraits of wiggly children, it is best to increase the

shutter speed

to “freeze” the movement.

kid portrait - settings for outdoor portraits

Hither are some basic tips:

  • 35mm = 1/70
  • 50mm = 1/100
  • 85mm = one/170
  • 135mm = 1/270

ISO for outdoor portraits

Every bit we all know, college ISO means more low-cal-sensitive while lower ISO is less sensitive, so they should exist set according to the weather condition outside. Moreover, the grainy issue of Higher ISOs should be kept in mind as well.

So if the calorie-free is low, high ISO is preferred to the point of immersion of grains. To avert grain, you tin can become for a low ISO, but it is just possible if there is enough light. The grain outcome of loftier ISO also depends upon camera blazon as each photographic camera handles grain differently. Then test your photographic camera in different

light conditions

before conducting the final outdoor portrait.

Here are some bullet points that make ISO settings easier for you:

  • Sunny weather = ISO 100-400
  • Cloudy weather = ISO 400-800
  • Good natural light = ISO 800-2000
  • Nighttime aura = ISO 2000+

Recollect, these guidelines can vary slightly. Y’all tin deviate from them if you feel the need in situations!

3100 Posing Cards Bundle


Outdoor portrait photography is tough but also incredibly varied and experimental. There are many choices for creativity and explorations, making it difficult to

select the right gear

and camera settings for outdoor portraits. Information technology can be overwhelming!

So if you desire to ensure that everyone is pleased with their portraits outdoors, be it family unit, friends, or other clients, concur on tight to these guidelines. These will ensure that you don’t become frustrated by outdoor technicalities.

Nil volition become incorrect, and it will become easy to tackle unprecedented circumstances likewise. With these tips, not just will the quality of your outdoor portrait will improve, but it will also get less hectic for you as well to select the all-time possible settings for outdoor portraits along the way.

Last but not least, don’t get monotonous with these rules. Remember, playfulness and experimentation are necessary for finding a groove. These are to help you get-go on the right human foot! These basic portrait settings will melt abroad your stress with time.

So keep your encephalon thinking in camera terms and no matter how tiring the sessions are, take a deep breath and revise the basics! You tin can do it, and nosotros are always at that place for you. If y’all have any queries, shoot them in the comments below and bank check our other blogs for more support!