These Camera Settings Take Outdoor Photos to the Next Level (VIDEO)

Camera settings are among the most democratic aspects of photography, in that the optimum choices are available for shooters of all skill levels. It's simply a matter of changing the defaults and configuring the camera in a way that best suits your specific style of photography.

After all, camera manufacturers create default settings as general guides that usually work OK for shooting various types of images. But "OK" shouldn't be good enough if you're serious about our craft, and it's time to pull out your camera and choose the specific settings that work best for you.

This tutorial from pro James Popsys is specifically intended for nature and landscape photography because those are his specialties. He's confident about the approach he's developed over the years and says, "they are integral to my photography."

Most of the settings you'll learn will work wonders with just about any full-featured camera you use and can be modified quickly when you encounter unusual situations. As you see, some of Popsys' recommended settings are of the set-it-and-forget-it variety, while others are dependent upon the specific task at hand.

A great starting point is to create a two or three Custom Settings for common applications—an option that's available with most modern digital cameras. This way you can quickly shift gears when shooting with the primary settings you've chosen as soon as the subject matter or conditions change.

All it takes to use these pre-configured Custom Settings is rotating the Mode dial or tapping a Function button on the top or back of the camera, and by doing this you'll achieve consistent results every time. Another advantage is that this approach significantly speeds things up because you'll rarely have to dig into the menu to modify settings.

Popsys walks you through the Custom modes he uses most and explains how they work. He then turns his attention a camera's basic defaults and demonstrates options that typically deliver super when shooting in the field. These include options for focusing modes and focus points, drive settings, and much more

You'll even learn why how and he sets up the camera to keep shutter speeds and ISO settings within a specific range to avoid inadvertent mistakes when shooting on the fly. There's much more to discover while watching this important lesson, including how to dial in the metering mode that will work best for you.

After the video concludes go grab the camera you use for outdoor photography, take advantage of Popsys' advice, and get rid of all the default settings that are holding you back. Then head over to his popular YouTube channel for more tips and tricks.

We also recommend watching the tutorial we posted recently from another accomplished shooter, explaining several pro hacks for capturing amazing backlit photographs outdoors.