Natural Outdoor Recipe

Demo of photo preset

Ever just wish someone would just give the step by step on what settings you need for a portrait.. Do you want. to skip the know how and get straight to the nitty gritty of the settings and get started.

Well, here you go.  

Note: This is for subjects that are still, and constant light. (I will cover the moving subject later next week)

Equipment you'll need:

  • A lens that will flatter your subject
  • Shoot in manual mode

Natural Light Outdoor Recipe

When taking an outdoor portrait. I always aim to position my subject just into the shade. This gives a more consistent and flattering lighting. 


Choosing the right lens can be difficult and it depends on where and what you are shooting. There are two schools of thought when it comes to a good portrait lens for outdoor. I use a 70-200mm lens. The image above was 105mm f4.0 iso 200 and shutter speed 1/500 (because he was moving)

Demo of photo preset

While this image was 85mm, ISO 400, and shutter speed of 1/500. It’s important to pick a focal length that suits your style and subject. 


Set your focus to a Single point or one shot. This always you to focus on the eyes, as this should be the sharpest point on your photo. 


Portraits of a single person, are best set between f2 and f4. If you’re current lens doesn’t go that low, then I’d recommend the 50mm f1.8 lens. It will certainly get you started and is very reasonably priced. 

Shutter Speed

If I’m using a tripod I can afford to drop my shutter speed down a notch. 1/125. However if I’m handheld I use 1/250 up to 320. This is the setting I move up and down to correct the exposure. 


I like to keep this as low as possible. 100. 

White Balance

I tend to leave my in auto and correct this as part of my post processing, If I think it’s a particularly difficult situation I put a grey card in my first couple of shots. However, If you’d prefer to do this in camera, simply set to the lighting. If its sunny set it too daylight, if its overcast set it to cloudy. 

Natural Outdoor Recipe

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