Updated: May 21, 2020
4 easy ways to get out of Auto mode in your DSLR and click awesome pictures.
You invested a fortune to buy that DSLR and now your dial is stuck on that A. Most of the people are afraid to play with camera options or they are lazy enough to find out. People think that going far from the subject, zooming in and taking a good bouquet picture is professional photograph. No it is not. The same thing can be done without worrying about the conditions.
We are not talking about going directly to M. Manual mode is something that even professional don’t try much. Every year companies like Canon, Nikon and Sony spend a fortune to bring exceptional features. Yet few basic tricks will never change, maybe not until AI becomes photographer itself. Here are top five of those ways that can get you of the Auto mode:
Somewhere around your dial you will find a humble program mode (P) which may seem like you are still in the auto mode. This is the easiest mode to steer your talent out of Auto because the aperture and the shutter speed are automatically adjusted by the camera. ISO or the sensitivity to light is one of the factors that you may change using this setting. Some scenes require a tweak in the ISO like night photography where you increase the sensitivity or photography in broad daylight where you try to decrease it.
This mode has very limited possibilities but is enough to get you past the Auto mode. In program mode you will also have control over light metering, focusing and flash light. Focusing you already know perhaps you are wondering what light metering is. Camera settings try to make the brightness average of all things inside the frame. You can decrease the area it averages by changing the light metering. That’s how some masterpieces can be achieved in the Program mode itself.
Shutter Priority mode
This mode is written as S or Sv on your dial, check it. This mode holds its special place in photography. Those light trailing masterpieces and star trailing skies are the gift of this mode. Shutter speed is the time for which the shutter remains open for light. It is generally in some 1000th of a second. It helps when you want to have a faded kind of effect or catch a very fast moving object stand still. For example, running water in a waterfall. You may not like the still image of that water but a trailing one that makes a free flowing effect. For this you just decrease the shutter speed.
Suddenly you decide to click a bird or a sports man, where you don’t even have time to blink. You increase the shutter speed. While all this is going on you might set aperture but the ISO is automatically balanced by camera software. This feature also helps in case of HD movie shoots as well. Exposure compensation sometimes needs to be adjusted for a better quality picture.
Aperture Priority mode
Aperture (A or Av) decides the size of opening in front of lens that brings in light. The bigger the aperture the sharper the image is. You are not in control of shutter speed which is automatically adjusted while aperture, ISO and white balance will change at your wisdom. In general, for a portrait type of picture where you have a clear subject, aperture is generally set low.
For landscapes you might just want to put it on maximum aperture setting. Depth of field is decided by the aperture hence higher the aperture higher is the depth of field. A good use of aperture is fixing it for the complete photoshoot. A certain consistency has a special grace on the clicks you get.