Learn how to optimize the Canon XSi/450D for people-in-landscapes pictures
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When taking pictures of people in landscapes, you want to remember that you want your subject, the person to be in focus as well as the landscape behind them. And what that requires is a very, very small aperture.
So, it’s very simple to set that with this camera, go ahead and use the AV Mode on your mode dial, just turn the mode dial to AV. This will allow you to set the aperture you want and the camera will automatically set the appropriate shutter speed.
You may want to use the Flash in order to brighten up the shadows on your subject a little bit. We’ll get to this in a second.
First, go ahead and set your ISO. I’m assuming we’re outdoors. It’s Broad Day Light so you don’t need a high ISO. Let’s go ahead and press the ISO button here by your index finger, go up to ISO 100 and press Set. Your White Balance should be set to Day Light, go ahead and press WB, move over to Day Light and press Set.
Now, I need to set my aperture to a very small aperture size in order to get everything from the person in the foreground to the very background in focus. So, use the dial in the front right next to the Shutter button in order to adjust this value. Let’s go with F22. Your aperture setting may differ. It really depends on the lens that’s being used. F22 is a nice small aperture size and it will give me everything in focus.
Now, go ahead and press the Shutter button halfway and see what your Shutter Speed is set to. Right now, mine is set to 1/6 of a second. And in my case, I don’t have as much light as you will in Broad Day Light so this is not fast enough but in your case it probably will be faster so you don’t need to worry about it.
However, if this is below 1/6 of a second, I recommend changing the aperture so that the shutter can change accordingly. Go down. In my case, I need to use F7.1 is the smallest aperture I can use to maintain a Shutter Speed over 1/6 of a second.
Now, if you want to use the Flash, all you need to do is just press the Flash button here to pop the flash and then press the Shutter button halfway and you’re fine. If there’s so much light that when you press the Shutter button halfway, you’ll see 1/200 blinking, it means there’s too much light. So, you still want to use the Flash in order to eliminate shadows but you’ll need to make the aperture size even smaller yet. So, you’ll need to increase the aperture beyond 22 or whatever your setting is. Press the Shutter button halfway and see what the Shutter Speed is indicating.
If your ISO is set to 100, your aperture is at F22, and your Shutter Speed is blinking 1/200 of a second then you’ll need to avoid using the flash because the picture will probably be over exposed.
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