Week 3 – 017/365
In Week 2 I did a post involving my brother’s stuffed dogs, so this week I decided on pulling out some stuffed animals and toys of my own. Then I bought a portable photo studio from ThinkGeek and decided the small scale pictures can have a break after today.
I was looking at my camera and realized I spent a lot of time on learning (S)hutter priority, so I decided it was time to try (A)perture. I realize this too late for the snow shots that (A)perture is for depth of field shots. I’d retake them down here, but it’s been so warm in Long Island I haven’t seen snow since December 21 when my car got buried!
General advice (emphasis on general — there are always exceptions). In each of these, when you’re in the mode, you can (most easily) see what settings you have by looking in the viewfinder. If (for example) you’re in Aperture Priority mode, then when you move the command dial, you’ll see your aperture value changing in the viewfinder’s display.
Aperture priority — when you want to control your depth of field the most. For example, shooting a landscape, you may want to choose f/10 or f/11, so that you have a large depth of field. (Also read up on “hyperfocal distance” to get extra sharpness). Alternately, choose a large aperture (f/1.8, f/2.8, f/3.5) if you want a blurred background.
Shutter priority — when you want to control the amount of motion in your scene. For example, choose a fast shutter speed for sports, water droplets, etc. Choose a long shutter speed to make things appear blurred, such as motion blur, or a nice smooth waterfall.
Program mode — when you just want a nice easy shot without any of the above.
Manual mode — when you’re feeling masochistic. Or, when you want full control, such as in a nighttime situation when the other modes tend to expose incorrectly.
When I was working on my snow shots, I think I was preoccupied with getting the snow as it was falling and using my mom’s large lens that I didn’t think back to exploring Manual or (A)perture.