I C1, I C2  … what do I C those two doing?!?!

Some cameras have these wonderful custom buttons on them and they are cleverly labelled… C1 and C2 for the Canon.  Often times we overlook them and even sometimes fail to add anything to them for the fear of not knowing how.  Not to speak for all cameras, but on the Canon 6D and the Sony a6000 the Custom Camera Buttons are almost self explanatory… almost!

Custom Camera Buttons on camera

A Place for Custom Camera Buttons with HDR

There are a plethora of benefits for adding your own settings to the custom camera buttons.  For instance, I am an HDR guy by trade and there are quite a few things to keep in mind when shooting for HDR on the landscape.  You have to have your Aperture rather small, between f/10 and f/11, ISO at 100, if you can maintain it with the shutter speed.  You also want to be in RAW and Aperture Priority Mode with an auto exposure bracket setting of +2/-2 over a 3 shot spread.  Of course, continuous fire mode, Auto White Balance (if in RAW) and tripod-mounted are very critical.

If you miss any one of those settings you could be in a world of hurt for HDR.  All the more reason to use the custom camera buttons!  My C1 button is programmed to have all of the above bolded settings in lock down.  I can go from shooting a just about anything in any mode to shooting for HDR with the swivel of my shooting mode dial.

In the Sony a6000 it is a bit more difficult.  These settings are buried in the menu options and can be quite difficult to operate quickly.  You may face the same issues with your camera.  If that is the case, consult with your camera’s manual to see how you can add your own custom settings.  Of course, not all cameras are created equal so keep that in mind, you may not have a custom setting at all.

Whether you do or do not, here is a cheat sheet for setting up your Custom Camera Buttons for HDR.  Feel free to follow it while setting up your custom camera buttons for HDR or print it and put it in your camera bag if you do not have custom camera buttons.

A Place for Custom Camera Buttons with Night Sky Photography

I am going out to the Flint Hills in Kansas this weekend to try and get a Milky Way shot or two.  Living in the Kansas City Area makes it difficult to get a decent Milky Way shot due to the amount of light pollution.  Prior to my departure, I did a ton of research on the perfect settings for night sky photography and have set my C2 button to the following.  These are 2 great resources Photography Life and Night Sky Pix.

While many of these settings are dependent upon many variables, this should get me to the point of experimentation while removing a lot of guess work.

Do you use Custom Camera Buttons?

If so, what are yours set to?


Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer, he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it's all about the art and process synergy. He dives deep into complex topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside-the-box thinking so that you can use these tricks in your workflow today!
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