Updated: May 10
You don’t need to take a lengthy course on photography to capture quality images in natural light, but there are a few camera settings you should be familiar with before beginning:
Aperture is the size of the opening in your camera lens that lets in different amounts of light. The aperture is measured in f-stops. The higher the f-stop, the narrower the size of the opening and the less light is let into the camera. A higher f-stop will result in photos where more is in focus (think Ansel Adams). A lower f-stop means less will be in focus which can put more emphasis on your product.
Shutter speed refers to the length of time the shutter on your camera stays open when taking a photo. Fast shutter speeds can “freeze” motion at a single moment with no blur. Slow shutter speeds do the opposite — often leading to intentionally (and artfully) blurred photos. You can have shutter speeds as quick as 1/100th of a second, or as slow as a couple of seconds depending on what look you want.
Adjusting each of these settings will help you get the right exposure, or the right amount of light and darkness, in your images. If you’re not comfortable adjusting these settings on your own, you can always turn to the automatic or program settings built into your camera.