What F-Stop Should Be Used for Landscapes

Shooting something wide like a landscape means that the only light you have is going to be coming from the sun. Because of this, your f-stop is dependent on the weather. A bright day means a high stop like a 16 to prevent over exposure while a dark day needs something more open.

Here's a brief guide to help you have nice, evenly exposed photographs. 

Bright Sun on Sand or Snow: f/16 or f/11 depending on the brightness

Average Sunny Day: f/8

Hazy Sun: f/5.6

Cloudy, but bright: f/4

Shady: f/2.8- f/1, but be careful because if you open the aperture up too much you will get an overexposed image.

Remember, your exposure is completely dependent upon the weather, and you will probably want to schedule your shoot around that because it will affect the quality of the image. An example is a partly cloudy and windy day. Those are the hardest to get a nice exposure on because the landscape is blotted by dark spots caused by quickly moving clouds that are constantly changing. It's also hard to maintain a constant exposure because clouds are constantly moving in front of the sun causing it to go from brightness to dark in seconds.

The most flattering days to shoot are either completely sunny if you want harsh shadows or a cloudy day when all the natural light is naturally diffused.

Popular Lenses: