Need Advice!!

Mar 26, 2007
This is a general question for all of you. I was wondering what some standard settings are for taking pics of people outdoors. I know it makes a difference with light but I would like to know what you set your aperture at and iso and so on. Any advice would be greatfully appreciated. I shoot with a d70 and have a 18-70mm lens and a 50mm 1.4. Thanks for your input. Sorry the question is so vague but I need a place to start.

Feb 14, 2005
Huntsville, AL
I like to find a place with even shade, particularly on a sunny day. If you look up at the sky and see a big open area, that can be thought of as your light source. Trees and buildings are your light shaping devices. A space with even shade provides a setting where subjects won't have to squint, and colors will come out stronger.....And you won't have a number of distracting shadows and overly bright areas.
May 23, 2005
matrix metering, aperture priority mode with aperture set to f/5.6 with the kit lens. Let the camer determine the proper shutter, but make sure it is over 1/80th or so, or else find a better position.
You want subjects to be front lit, not back lit (ie, sun is behind you the cameraperson and facing them the subject, not the other way around).

If you want more of the background in focus you can go up to f/8

If you want a more film-like image, with the backgrounds blown out, then you should use the 50mm at f/2 or f/2.8

The beauty of digital is that experimentation is free, I woudl recommend you set the person up and rol through multiple apertures taking test shots, them compare them at your leisure to see the impact.
Dec 26, 2006
I normally keep my ISO at 100 (for your D70, stay at 200) if it's a fairly sunny day. I'll then shoot in Aperture Priority mode (A mode) so I can choose the aperture and the camera picks the shutter based off it's metering. White balance I'll leave in Auto.

It really depends how you want your background to look, in focus or out of focus? In focus, bump the aperture to f8. Out of focus, bump it to 2.8 or lower. Your 18-70 sounds like a kit lens, so apertures larger than (I think) f3.5 won't be possible. The 50mm 1.4 will give you the flexibility of going very wide open.

Play around and see what results you get. Most important...have fun! :biggrin:

Feb 27, 2006
Tolland CT
Don,t be afraid of backlight especially if you use your flash as a "fill Flash" sometimes the backlight has a nice effect on a persons hair. If not using flash you don't want the sun in the persons face since all they will do is squint at you, place them in the shade, eliminate the sky from the photo and try spot metering off their face, use a wider aperture to focus on your subject. - Jeff
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