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Camera Modes

What is an Exposure?

What is an Exposure?

You’ve almost certainly heard someone refer to the act of taking a photograph as “making an exposure.” But what does the word “exposure” actually mean? Read on to find out. Continue Reading »

Metering 101: How To Use Your Camera’s Metering Modes

Metering 101: How To Use Your Camera’s Metering Modes

All modern consumer-level cameras come equipped with a light meter. And a good thing too, because without a meter photography would be at best, a game of educated guesses, and at worse, a festival of complete and utter frustration. But if I had to guess, I’d say that this most-important piece of photography equipment is probably the most taken-for-granted of anything that comes equipped on a camera. You change your shutter speed, aperture and ISO pretty regularly. You probably also change your white balance setting and your focusing mode. But you may not pay a whole lot of attention to your meter.
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Shooting Modes Explained: What M, AV, TV, P, and B Really Mean

Shooting Modes Explained: What M, AV, TV, P, and B Really Mean

Good news, you’ve got a fancy new camera. Bad news, you have no idea how to use it or what any of the settings do or mean. Making the jump from a point and shoot to a DSLR requires you to embrace a massive learning curve. Below is some information to demystify the shooting modes and help you differentiate each mode from the others.
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P is for Program Mode

P is for Program Mode

Are you stuck shooting solely in auto mode? You have a sophisticated DSLR, but you are working on auto, letting your camera make all of the decisions for you. Besides choosing and framing your subject, you have no control over any of the elements that can make your pictures better or add an artistic flair. It is time to branch out! If you check out your dial, you will most likely see M, A, S, and P. At this point, a great first step is to turn the dial to P and explore the new world that opens up when shooting in program mode. Program mode refers to programmed exposure or programmed auto, and it is a great place to learn. It is not the same as auto! Your camera still makes critical decisions for you, but you have control over ISO, white balance, and flash. I will explain how you can ease into using more of the incredible features your camera has to offer!
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5 Situations To Use Your Camera’s Program Modes

5 Situations To Use Your Camera’s Program Modes

Any self-professed “real” photographer will tell you to turn off your camera’s auto mode and stick with manual. Manual mode gives you more control over your final image. Manual mode is what the pros use. It’s true, sort of. Manual mode does give you more control over your final image, and in many situations it’s better than using your camera’s auto setting. It’s certainly preferable to that fully automatic setting, where you don’t have any choice over basic things like aperture and shutter speed.

But I’m here to say that manual mode is not always best. And I’ll tell you why.
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What is program mode and how do you use it?

What is program mode and how do you use it?

Unless you exclusively shoot landscapes and still-lifes, you know that photography is an art of capturing life in motion. People are always moving – their faces change expression, their interest shifts from one part of a scene to another, they walk away, they run off or they simply stop being interesting. If you’re going to capture that once-in-a-lifetime moment, you need to be quick. And for many of us, that means there just isn’t enough time to mess around with dials and settings.

Contrary to popular belief, though, you don’t need to go fully automatic to achieve that faster-than-mere-mortals ability to capture the moment as it happens. Fortunately, modern camera manufacturers give us a range of settings to choose from, from auto to full manual and several in between. But when should you make that switch from auto and what mode should you try first?
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Are There More Rules Other Than The Sunny 16 Rule?

Are There More Rules Other Than The Sunny 16 Rule?

The sunny 16 rule is a handy reference for beginner and pro photographers alike. It’s a guide you use to get the right exposure (a.k.a. brightness) when you want to use manual mode and don’t have a light meter or other diagnostic tools on hand with you. I’ve had a lot of readers asking me if there are any other similar rules. You bet there are! Let’s have a look at a few of them.
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Switching Between Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Other Modes

Switching Between Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Other Modes

Cameras these days offer a bevy of different modes, so many that it can easily become a confusing ordeal for someone who is just getting into it. You’ve got aperture priority mode, shutter priority mode, programmed automatic mode, and of course, manual mode. How do you know when to use which one? Does one particular mode lend itself to better photography in certain situations? Let’s stop and take a closer look.
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Digital Camera Modes – Scene Modes

Digital Camera Modes – Scene Modes

Your digital camera comes equipped with an arsenal of automatic and semi-automatic modes designed to make your life as a photographer easier. Aside from the fully automatic mode, aperture priority mode, and shutter priority mode, your camera gives you a variety of scene-specific modes. Each mode has a specific purpose. You can easily switch between modes for portraits, landscapes, macro photography, sunset photography, and more. In this article, you’ll get a behind the scenes look at what your camera does when you work with one of its many automatic scene modes.
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Does Your Camera Offer These Scene Modes? The New Ones You Can’t Afford To Miss!

Does Your Camera Offer These Scene Modes? The New Ones You Can’t Afford To Miss!

Camera technology just keeps improving year after year. It’s amazing where it’s gotten. Not too long ago, you had to tell your camera everything, and now there are more automatic scene modes than ever to make snapping pictures a breeze. You’ve seriously got to check out some of these new point-and-shoot models. They might not give you the same versatility as a DSLR, but when it fits in your pocket, who cares? Does your camera feature these unique scene modes?
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Which mode is better? Aperture priority or shutter priority?

Which mode is better? Aperture priority or shutter priority?

Digital cameras come with a variety of different automatic modes, each with their own distinct purpose. By learning some of these modes, you can ease the transition from automatic photography to manual photography. That’s certainly the case with shutter priority and aperture priority modes. I’ve recently discussed both those modes in my newsletters, but which one is better and why?
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Your Camera’s Settings: P mode

Your Camera’s Settings: P mode

Do you own a digital SLR and wonder what its “P” mode does? If you’ve been using automatic settings your entire life, and you aren’t quite ready to learn everything you need to know about manual photography, this mode will come in handy. Your camera’s “P” mode has a lot to teach you. In this article, we’ll show you why.
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Camera Metering Modes

Camera Metering Modes

I’ve mentioned metering in many of these tutorials, but I have never taken the time to discuss it at length. Metering tells the camera how much light there is in the scene, and from that it works out how long to keep the shutter open to correctly expose the image. Most of the time, the camera’s default metering (called matrix metering) works very well. However, there are some scenes (usually when there are very bright or very dark parts of your photo, like the candle photo to the right) where the camera doesn’t do a good job. That’s when you should choose one of the other metering modes.
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When To Shoot In Portrait Or Landscape Mode

When To Shoot In Portrait Or Landscape Mode

Photography is about choices. Whenever you go out for a shoot, you have to decide which lenses you want to bring with you, which angle is best, and what aperture gives the right depth of field for your subject. Another important choice is the one you make between portrait and landscape modes. It is a choice that has to do with the composition of the image, and as such, it is a choice that makes all the difference.
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