Here’s How to Fine-Tune Your Camera Settings for the Best Possible Photographs (VIDEO)

Many of you are familiar with the Eve Arnold quote, “It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument.” But let’s face it: If you haven’t set up your camera correctly, it’s pretty difficult to capture great photographs. 

In this tutorial, photo instructor Radhakrishnan Chakyat compares the photographer to a race car driver, “who is also a technician that has to fine-tune his machine.” In the video below, Chakyat explains how to do that with a camera, so that you’ll achieve winning results.

If you are struggling with menu settings, go grab your camera, and then follow Chakyat as he walks you through all the critical settings, one by one. For this demonstration, he uses a Nikon D810 full-frame DSLR, and the menus and terminology in other cameras may differ. But if you poke around a bit, you’ll be able to find most of what he describes in the menus of whatever camera you own.

Some settings, like those for file naming, are merely administrative in nature, while those pertaining to image quality, focusing performance, metering, and other essential considerations are the real meat of this tutorial.

Chakyat says “I don’t understand the logic of shooting JPEG images with a $5,000 camera,” and he explains the process for determining and setting whatever file format you choose to use. He also covers the various white balance options, how to control the way images appear on your camera’s rear LCD, important color space settings, and much, much more.

After watching this important tutorial, be sure to check out Chakyat’s YouTube channel for more helpful advice. You may also want to watch an earlier episode of his, explaining how the focal length of a lens affects the perspective of your photographs.