DSLR Camera Settings for Street Photography

2016-10-07-07-55-22In preparation for an upcoming workshop, I asked everyone who registered, “What is the one burning question you must have answered in this workshop?” The one I addressing here is “What camera settings should I use in various conditions?” I chose this question because I am frequently asked about how to capture great images in low light condition, when the sun is overhead, of the moon at night, etc. The title of this post came after it was written and really says what these settings allow for. As you are walking around, say in a new city and have no idea what the situation might be around the next corner, you will be ready to take your next great photo if you start with your camera at these settings and then adjust them for the situation. With practice, you should be able to quickly adjust aperture and ISO while looking through the viewfinder, to capture a well exposed shot in almost any situation.

EXPOSURE MODE: aperture value in Canon; aperture priority in Nikon

When the camera is in the aperture value or aperture priority mode, you select the f-stop and the camera selects an appropriate shutter speed. If you want a faster shutter speed, then you select a larger aperture. You also control depth of field with the aperture setting. There is an inverse relationship between aperture size and depth of field. Large aperture = shallow depth of field. Small aperture = deep depth of field. Shallow and deep are relative terms and may vary with lenses. Practice with yours so that you know the limitations of your lens.

SHUTTER SPEED: controlled by the exposure mode


This is a good mid-range starting point for general photography.

ISO: 100

Always use the lowest ISO possible for the situation.

METERING MODE: evaluative

This is the best mode for all around shooting. I use this almost exclusively, unless the situation calls for spot metering.


When shooting in RAW, this is the best for most situations.

FOCUS: one shot

FOCUS AREA: 1 point autofocus

DRIVE MODE: single

Use these settings as your starting point and with practice, you should be able to quickly adjust aperture and ISO while looking through the viewfinder, to capture a well exposed shot in almost any situation.


The View From Window Rock

As a hiker looks to the West perched atop a hole (Window Rock) in the 200 foot sandstone formation in Window Rock AZ, the photograph allows viewers to gaze upon the landscape as seen through the opening from the top. As you might guess, the city of Window Rock takes its name from this formation. Grandson #1 and I had a memorable experience while in the Navajo Nation and I am looking forward to my next trip.

Campers Learn to Appreciate Nature Through Photography

I believe an appreciation for nature can be developed through nature photography. That appreciation can grow to include an awareness of our environment and the need for management and protection. That is why, for the past two years, I volunteered to lead nature photography sessions for children at a camp conducted by the Millican Alliance at the Millican Reserve in Millican TX. Camp Millican is an outdoor day camp which, aims to promote a healthy relationship with nature.

Each camper learns the basics of good photography. I begin by discussing things such as composition, distracting elements, and how to use the camera. Depending on the age of the campers, I may also introduce elements of design including balance, texture, color, and patterns.

Each group learns about ethics for nature photographers. I caution them not to disturb any nests, webs or living creatures they may find nor destroy or pick any plants and flowers. They are told to “Take nothing but photographs. Leave nothing but footprints”. Groups of campers then set out to capture images with point and shoot cameras. I select the best shot from each child, tweak if needed, print and send it home with them. This year, we were able to have a “gallery show” with matted images hung in the boathouse. It was impressive!

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I have included their images in this gallery. Please enjoy!

Camp Millican 2016 – sessions 3 & 4

Monument Valley Rocks!

Monument Valley rocks! While it does indeed contain a large number of rocks, what I mean that is it an awe inspiring place to visit. I met Jonathan Nez, Vice President of the Navajo Nation and  Navajo Code Talker Peter MacDonald, Sr., one of 15 Code Talker veterans who are still living–all by being in the right place at the wrong time. I had no issues getting to the places I needed to go but I seemed to have trouble staying on schedule. As a result, I had those two opportunities to see men that I wouldn’t have, had it been on time. It was meant to be!

Shooting photos in the desert can be trying. Sticking to morning and late afternoon times helped some but sunset was normally around 8:50PM, so the days are long this time of year. Nevertheless, I was able to get a few shots that I liked. You can see them in the online gallery at http://carolfoxhenrichs.zenfolio.com/p169714595

10 Tips to Improve Your Photography

Photographers of any level can use these tips immediately to help improve their photos. Centered on composition and design elements, these tips are helpful no matter what type of camera you may be using. Download your copy now!

Download “10 Tips to Improve Your Photography” 10_phototips.pdf – Downloaded 72 times – 2 MB

Other downloads available on this page–scroll to bottom

New Camera Bag

Taken from an article in my December Newsletter:

The Everyday Messenger from Peak Design

Several well known photographers and photography publications have published their selections for best new gear and one item appears on many of these lists–the EVERYDAY MESSENGER from Peak Design. The project was funded as a Kickstarter campaign and I was lucky enough to get in on the first few shipments of the bag!  I haven’t taken it out on a shoot yet, but plan to take it on my next trip to Central America in a few weeks. I usually prefer a backpack style bag but lately, I’ve wanted something looking a little more professional. All in all, I am impressed with the workmanship and thought put into every facet. It comes in two colors and I selected Heritage Tan as a welcome change from all the black and gray bags. #theverydaymessenger

This bag scores big on the features that IMO are essetial:

  • flex-fold dividers – for more options than traditional 3-sided dividers
  • dedicated capture clip attachments – for another must have piece of gear: the Capture Pro clip
  • MagLatch (TM) closure system – one-handed operation without looking
  • no dangling strap ends – enough said
  • size – expands or contracts as you add or remove gear…within limits of course
  • weatherproof coating
  • accessibility – equipment is easy to access
  • airlines – perfect carry-on size

12 Months for $12.99

Makes a great gift! A 2016 Texas Wildflower calendar. Each photo was carefully selected and could be framed after the month passes. You can preview each image and order direct from the printer lulu.com Support independent publishing: Buy this calendar on Lulu.

$12.99 plus tax & shipping.

Another Chance to Display My Work

Wow! Things have been hopping this month! After a great weekend at the Texas Red’s Steak and Grape Festival in Bryan, I have been invited to display and sell my work at Millican Reserve’s Pumpkinpalooza on Sunday, October 11th. 
The creative juices have been flowing since spring and I have several new works of art that I will display on Sunday. You can see some of them on my website, carolfoxhenrichs.com. My latest works include triptychs of outdoor and rural scenes.
Hillside Cattle Ranch http://goo.gl/P5k6X8
Bolivar Lighthouse http://goo.gl/dPb2PG

Come by on Sunday and see my new works and mention the secret code, “Halloween10“, for a 10% discount on purchases of framed prints or gallery wrap canvas prints!
Can’t make it Sunday? No worries! The discount code works online for purchases of $40 or more, until October 31st! Visit my website at carolfoxhenrichs.com and click on a portfolio to view images. When you find one you want to purchase, simply click on it to be taken to my zenfolio store where you can select size and finish. OR email me and let me know what you want and I’ll get it ordered for you ASAP! Don’t forget to mention the discount code in your email…