Sunday, July 20, 2008

Photo Talk: Shooting Modes - Which to choose?

Depending on the type of photos I am taking, I may switch between four different shooting modes. For each photographer the shooting mode of choice is most likely a personal preference. Here are some of the modes I use and when.

In most cases when shooting landscapes I like to be in Aperture Priority. My subject is not moveing so I have a little more time to calculate how I might want to shoot the scene. With my selecting the f/stop and letting the camera determine the shutter speed, I can move from scene to scene and maintain the desired depth of field. I almost always am shooting a landscape with a tripod so I worry much less about shutter speed.

I also like to use Manual Mode, especially if I am shooting waterfalls, rivers, and streams. In general I like water looking a bit smooth. Not too much...there are some photos that just a little too much "cotton candy" effect. I do my best to try and keep a little bit of a good thing, if you know what I mean.

I find myself in Program Mode and Shutter Priority when shooting wildlife. Depending on the subject they can tend to move a bit and be unpredictable.

I have actually had a lot of success in Program Mode. In Program I can still override the apreture with the flick of a wheel. The Canon 30D also has exposure compensation made easy by spinning an adjustment wheel.

I do some portraits and am getting into them more are time goes on. Where I shoot most people photos is at events and such. When shooting at events I am strictly in Program Mode. I need the camera ready and ready fast. Getting that "money shot" of a child takes cat like speed. I cant be fumbling around with all kinds of calculations.

I am still learning as probably most of us are. Certainly there are different reasons to be in different modes. If you have a camera that has RAW capability, switching it to RAW is not a have bad idea.

If you are in RAW you can make up for some exposure errors or miscalculations fairly easy. To some it may sound like cheating. I say Iam being smart embracing the technology.

Drop a line, give me your thoughts, tell me the modes you like and why.


Barbara said...

I agree with most of what you said. It was nice to have someone confirm for me the modes i use. However I'm not as comfortable with manual mode yet. Kind of scared to go out on my own with that unless it is something that i can practice with and no harm done.

Fotos For Phun said...

I see from your Redbubble profile that you shoot with a Canon 20D. With that said, Manual mode should not be scary at all.

On my 30D the finger wheel controls apreture and the thumb wheel shutter speed (or vise versa).

You can see by your exposure compensation display just how you sit with exposure. Try it out.

Select a film speed of say 200. Then put camera in Manual mode.

First adjust your f/stop to lets say f/8.

Then turn the wheel that adjusts your shutter speed. Adjust it until the exposure compensation is 0.

Then snap the shot. Do this in a couple different variations. Sometimes let the exposure compensation be a step or two under and then a step or two over.

You own a digital...learning manual mode adjusts are now easier than ever.

Let me know how you do.

sharpshooter said...

HI, Scott. I haven't been on line much at all lately (caring for my son and his injuries is a full time job these days), but took a moment to look at your blog. Looks great. I hope you'll get more traffic - takes time, I guess. Is there some way to subscribe?

Take care!

Jan Cartwright (sharpshooter at RB)