Camera controls. Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority & Manual

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1 Camera controls Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority & Manual

2 Aperture Priority In aperture priority mode, the camera automatically selects the shutter speed while you select the f-stop, f remember the lower the f number i.e. f2.8 the larger the aperture, the higher the f number i.e. f22 the smaller the aperture. The smaller the aperture, the greater the depth of field.

3 Shutter Priority Shutter priority mode, is the opposite of aperture priority. Aperture priority automatically selects the shutter speed and allows you to select the f-stop. f Shutter priority automatically selects the f-stop f to suit the shutter speed you have chosen. A fast shutter speed will freeze motion where a slow shutter speed is used to give the effect of motion in a subject.

4 Manual Mode This is one of the most versatile control functions on your camera system, it allows you to have control over the exposure time as well as the aperture values, i.e. f-stops. f Once you make the move to manual mode, you will find that it makes it much easier to achieve the results you want. Forget that little green square (fully auto) on your camera and create images using the manual mode. Manual mode is usually identified by the M symbol on the dial of your camera. Once you select this setting, you will be able to choose your shutter speed, the f-stop f which controls the amount of light that enters the lens and the depth of field.

5 The big advantage of manual mode is that it allows you to greatly expand your creativity, as in capturing motion, freezing motion, long exposures, or using the available light to your advantage. For example, adjusting the aperture and shutter speed to create dramatic shadows or highlights by under or over exposing certain aspects of a subject such as the image below of the sun reflecting on water. The idea in the above image was to expose for the light of the reflection, and not that of the water. It was taken at 1/250th sec at f 32, approximately 4 f-stops under exposed for the water but at the correct exposure to achieve the highlights without over exposing them.

6 The same method was used to photograph the building in the image below. The sun is setting and is lighting up the church, so the image was exposed for the light on the building, which was one f-stop under the surrounding area. The camera s built in light meter read the light on the building as f11 at 1/60, the surrounding area was reading f8.

7 Once you start using manual mode it is a good idea to experiment with under exposing or over exposing. Take more time when you compose the image, take a notebook with you when you are out photographing, and take images of a subject at different exposure settings and keep notes of these. Exif data will also record this. Doing this will greatly improve your ability to create various different lighting effects. This is especially effective in the evenings when the sun is lower and has a warm glow about it.

8 Another great advantage of manual mode is being able to freeze motion or create blur effects, particularly useful when photographing sporting activities. One of the techniques you can use is panning, following the subject as it passes in front of you. Once you are focused on the subject, it will be sharp, but the background will be blurred, capturing the feeling of motion in your image. Another method is to use a fast shutter speed e.g. 1/2000 sec. Once you click the shutter at the right time it should freeze the image without blurring and depending on the depth of field you will be able to see background detail. This will make the movement look frozen. You can use the shutter speed to create images with a blurring effect on the moving subject. You can freeze your moving subject while blurring the background, freeze the subject while keeping the background sharp, or blur your subject in motion while keeping the background sharp.

9 Capturing motion Panning: Following a moving subject with your camera as the subject passes. You keep the subject in focus while the background blurs from the motion of your camera.

10 Freezing Motion A fast shutter speed of 1/500 of a second will capture and freeze a moving object in your photo. This has the effect of making the moving object look as though it is stationary, no sense of movement. Look at the spokes in the wheels.

11 Blurring the Moving Subject A slow shutter speed of 1/4 sec on a stationary camera will blur the moving subject.

12 When you use flash for shooting in manual mode, whether it is for motion or for still life, for the flash to work correctly it must be in sync with the shutter speed. This is known as sync speed. Sync speed is the point where the flash fires at the same time as the shutter is fully open. Depending on the camera the sync speed can be between 1/60 and 1/250 or even faster. For example, if the sync speed of your camera is 1/60 it means that if you are using flash you will not be able to adjust your shutter speed to anything faster than 1/60 e.g. 1/125 without losing some of the image.

13 Incorrect sync speed Correct sync speed The example above shows the result of not having the correct shutter speed when using flash. The correct sync speed of your camera, you will find, is in the technical data section of your camera instruction manual.

14 In most camera systems, manual mode allows you to have exposures of up to 30 seconds, these longer times are ideal for night scenes such as traffic trails, cityscapes or fairgrounds etc... As you progress you will see that some things look better when they are photographed at night, such as the Big Wheel. It is not the most attractive thing by daylight but once it is dark it takes on a whole new life. Long exposure

15 Low light In low light situations, using manual mode and the other modes in your camera, will allow you to still produce an image. The lower the ISO, the slower the shutter speeds will tend to be. Adjusting the ISO speed up or down allows for faster or slower shutter speed, but it does affect the quality of the end product. The ISO speeds available on your camera, typically begin at 50 and move up in the following sequence, 50, 100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250 and 1600, some digitals even higher. The lower the ISO, the clearer the image. The higher the ISO the grainier/noisier the image will be.

16 An example of how ISO speeds work is that if you have your camera set to 1/250 at ISO100 then you change this to ISO200 your shutter speed will have to be 1/500 to get the same exposure. The image on the left was shot with an ISO of 100. The image on the right was shot with an ISO of At such a high ISO, we are able to use a fast shutter speed, however, we can see the effect of noise at the higher ISO.

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