Many students who have taken the Photography Novice Training Course have just bought a camera, or have just switched from a fully automatic DC to a DSLR, mirror-less camera, etc. They do n’t know about different shooting modes, so I don’t know how to choose Auto, Program (P-mode), or use M-mode directly. In fact, for beginners, A-mode is a very good shooting mode for daily shooting. Now let ’s take a look at this easy-to-use A-mode!

 

Exposure iron triangle

In photography, aperture , shutter, and sensitivity (ISO) are the three basic exposure elements, which are called “exposure iron triangles” . So what value should we adjust these three elements to be suitable? At this time we use different shooting modes to assist. The following are the 4 most commonly used shooting modes:

[table class = “table-striped table-bordered” colwidth = “30%” colalign = “left | center | center | center | center | center | center | center | center”]
“mode”, “aperture”, “shutter”, “ISO”, “Flash”, “White Balance (WB)”, “Exposure Compensation (EV)”, “Suitable for learning”
“Auto”, “Auto”, “Auto”, “Auto”, “Auto”, “Auto”, “Auto”, X
“Program (P-mode)”, “Auto”, “Auto”, “Auto”, “Adjustable”, “Adjustable”, “Adjustable”, X
“Aperture Priority (A / Av-mode)”, “Adjustable”, Automatic , “Adjustable”, “Adjustable”, “Adjustable”, “Adjustable”, O
“Shutter Priority (S / Tv-mode) “, Auto ,” adjustable “,” adjustable “,” adjustable “,” adjustable “,” adjustable “, O
“Manual (M-mode) “,” adjustable “,” adjustable “,” adjustable “,” adjustable “,” adjustable “,” adjustable “, O
[/ table]

* Note: The names and functions of each camera brand may be different, but the principles are similar. If you have any questions, please refer to the manual.

In the above list, we can see the control options of aperture priority, shutter priority and manual mode. It is useful for learning exposure techniques or shooting in extreme light and dark conditions, and the “Aperture Priority” mode commonly used in this article .

How to use Aperture Priority Mode

(A) first determine the aperture value

To determine the aperture value, we can consider two elements:

  • If the amount of incident light is insufficient at the time, you need a larger “window” to allow more light to enter, so you need to enlarge the aperture.
  • The larger the depth of field , the shallower the aperture, the easier it is to take a shallow depth of field (please refer to the method for taking shallow depth of field). If you want to take a bokeh, you must use a large aperture. If you are taking landscape photos, you need to use a small aperture.
In A-mode, you can easily take shallow depth of field by zooming in the aperture and increasing the focal length.

In A-mode, you can easily take a shallow depth of field by zooming in the aperture and increasing the focal length.

When shooting general daytime scenery, just adjust the aperture to a small depth to get all the clear depth of field, focus on framing, and other settings let the camera operate automatically!

When shooting ordinary daytime scenery, just turn the aperture down to get all the clear depth of field, focus on framing, and other settings let the camera operate automatically!

(Two) adjust ISO

After deciding the aperture value to be used, we began to consider ISO and adjust the ISO value according to the environment at that time. Generally, the lower the ISO value, the better, in order to maintain the quality of the photo.

In Aperture Priority mode, you can arbitrarily adjust the ISO to match different light and dark environments, giving you more freedom.

In Aperture Priority mode, you can arbitrarily adjust the ISO to match different light and dark environments, giving you more freedom.

(Three) check the shutter value

After the aperture and ISO are set, point the camera at the subject you want to shoot, and then check the shutter value calculated by the camera. If the shutter value meets the requirements, such as the “safe shutter speed” when holding it, you can start shooting!

When using Aperture Priority Mode, remember to check the shutter speed calculated by the camera, so as not to be slower than the safety shutter and blur the picture.

When using Aperture Priority Mode, remember to check the shutter speed calculated by the camera to avoid slower than the safety shutter and blur the photo.

(4) If necessary: ​​turn on the flashing light and adjust the white balance

One of the benefits of Aperture Priority mode is that it allows you to decide whether to turn on the flash and adjust the appropriate white balance. After completing the first to third points, you can start shooting. If you want to adjust it further.

Using the aperture priority mode allows you to adjust the white balance setting, and you can shoot beautiful colors even under indoor light sources with different color temperatures.

With the Aperture Priority mode, you can adjust the white balance setting and shoot beautiful colors even under light sources with different color temperatures indoors.

Simple Dimming: Exposure Compensation (+/- EV)

Many students want to know how the camera determines the shutter speed in A-mode. In fact, the camera determines the shutter speed at that time based on the built-in light meter and metering method (can be changed, please refer to this article). What should I do if the photos I take are underexposed or overexposed? At this time, we can use the exposure compensation (+/- EV) button to adjust, which is often used to take large areas of black and white environment, back-light, high and low light photos.

Extended reading: Easily fine-tune photos with exposure compensation (EV +/-)

Not suitable for aperture priority

Although aperture priority is useful, there are some situations where it is not recommended:

  1. Fast-moving things: For example, sports photography, you can use Shutter Priority (S / Tv-mode) to ensure that the shutter speed matches the appropriate value.
  2. Night scenes: When shooting night scenes, the camera often makes metering errors, causing the light to be overexposed or too dark, so use manual mode (M-mode) and use the built-in light meter scale as a reference to fully control the exposure triangle.
  3. Panorama: When taking multiple photos to combine them into a panoramic photo, if A-mode has the opportunity to make the exposure value of each photo different, the combined effect will be affected. In this case, you can use manual mode or cooperate AE-Lock button.
In some environments we will not use A-mode for shooting in order to fully control the parameters, such as shooting night scenes.

In some environments, we will not use A-mode to fully control the parameters, such as shooting night scenes.

to sum up

The aperture priority mode has the advantages of being easy to use and powerful, omitting the shutter speed setting, we can focus more on composition, color tone and other techniques. I also often use A-Mode for daily shooting. You should also try to familiarize yourself with this mode and enjoy the convenience and progress brought by technology!

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Author: Alex Tam