Annabel Williams Portraiture Masterclass

Camera Settings

In previous Masterclasses, we’ve often talked

about getting to know your camera’s settings and how working in manual

mode means having total control over your exposures. However, Annabel

prefers to take a different approach with her camera, and suggests that

worrying about technology and settings should not be something that

takes up the photographer’s time.


you first start you should never feel self-conscious about working in

auto mode,’ says Annabel. ‘There’s a lot of snobbery about working in

this way, but there’s no need for it. The auto mode is there to help you

so you can concentrate on taking a great image. Once you’re comfortable

with your equipment, you can start exploring how best to take control

of exposures.’

While Annabel encourages people to explore the

capabilities of their camera, she also recognises that doing so can get

in the way of actually taking images.

‘I don’t believe that you

need to know too many things about how your camera functions in order to

take great pictures,’ continues Annabel. ‘It’s great photographers who

take great pictures, not great cameras. Photographers, particularly

those new to image making, can get tied up trying to figure out

f-settings and what every little dial and button does on their camera.

As far as I’m concerned, that’s counter-productive.’
Annabel’s advice

to our readers is to work with the settings that have served her well

for the past 20 years of her career. First, set your camera to AV mode.

Then set the aperture to f/5.6 and the ISO to 400. Set the camera to

‘one shot’ and the white balance to auto.

‘If you have your

camera locked on these basic settings, as soon as you pick up your

camera you’ll be able to shoot straight away,’ she says. ‘In that way,

you can spend your time working on your backgrounds, directing your

subject and ensuring that your composition is as you want it.’

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Camera Settings
  3. 3. The Subjects
  4. 4. Lighting and Composition
  5. 5. Location and Background
  6. 6.
  7. 7. Readers' Images
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