Is the BEST Exposure Mode for Nature Photography Aperture Priority or Manual? (VIDEO)

While many landscape and nature photographers shoot in the Aperture Priority exposure mode, others prefer using Manual. So which option provides the most flexibility and superior results? That’s the question we’ll explore in the tutorial below.

Mads Peter Iverson is a Danish pro who likes to do things differently, and he specializes in inspirational outdoor photography tips and tricks that will give your images a unique look. In this episode he discusses the exposure mode conundrum, and when one choice is better than the other.

As with most forms of photography, there’s no one “right” exposure mode when photographing the great outdoors. In fact, depending upon the scene you are shooting, there can be pros and cons with whatever option you choose. And that’s the point of this 18-minute tutorial, as Iversen offers specific tips for using Aperture Priority and Manual modes to arrive at an optimal exposure.

Using beautiful images he captured over the holidays, Iverson demonstrates why each scene called for a specific exposure mode. As always, he prefers a minimalist style of composition, and you’ll pick up some valuable framing tips along the way. And as you’ll see, certain characteristics of a scene—like water reflections, a cloudy sky, or foggy atmospheric conditions—factor into the equation when choosing which exposure mode to use.

Other variables, like a dark foreground element against a bright background can also determine whether you shoot in Aperture priority or Manual. And your choice of metering modes is also important to consider. The bottom line is that it pays to remain flexible, and choose the most appropriate exposure mode for the moment, rather than using the same choice for all your shooting.

There are many more great tips on Iversen’s YouTube channel. And be sure to check out another nature photography tutorial we posted, demonstrating a unique approach to landscape photography composition.