Photo weekly tip – Stuck on “Auto or Program mode”?

photocrati gallery

Guilty! Yes you. Stuck on Program or Auto mode every time you snap away with that camera of yours? Well the good news is your not alone. Did you know that 2/3rds of people who own a digitals SLR ( DSLR ) never venture away from using the “Program or Auto” function on their camera. Its just easy to turn it on and point and shoot right, just like your old compact, which incidentally are now being replaced by mobile phones. Well there is far more you can do with a camera of this magnitude and its interchangeable lenses. You’ve spent well over $500 and yet still your pictures come back not how you wanted them too. And why do people come back dark with a bright background like the sample we have here of the boy? Well what happens inside the cameras viewfinder is it might have all those numerous focus points ( well thats what the sales person told you ) but it uses these to get detail on the light being reflected back from the scene. Now if the scene is far brighter than the subject then the result will be your subject will be dark and scene just right. Solution: try to move your subject to a scene that has similar lighting like under a tree. You can also see in this image we have sunspots and lovely power lines. So try to take into account the entire scene outside the subject. If the scene is too busy it detracts from your focal point.

Depth of field what is it. Well if you dare to move the camera dial away from program. Go on don’t be shy, switch it over to that “A” now this will help control whats in focus behind and in front of the subject. When we photograph people we want the focus on the subject not all the distractions around them. You can see the bride in the vines. The surrounds are nicely blurred so we just focus on her. So here’s how to do it. Switch to “A” mode ( Aperture Priority ) and select from 2.8 to 4 f stop, now the shutter speed will be determined by the camera so you don’t have to worry about it.

Different scenes require different camera settings. When we look at the quirky shot of the couple by the chook house we notice the following: The shot is different so it captures our attention, now the lighting is fairly even and in this shot we want lots of elements in focus so we naturally set the camera to a higher f Stop i.e. f 8 – f 11.  There is lots of grain in this shot as we have applied some special software effects that you might want to check out here:

Well I hope we have not confused you all. Feel free to shoot me an email if you want to find out more, email more info or find out about our one day workshops