First step out of auto mode – Photography

First step out of auto mode – Photography


Today I’m going to show you how to take your first steps out of auto. There’s a lot of info in this one, but if you go through it step by step, you’ll learn so much about your camera and photography in general.

If you have a modern camera, it will have may settings that you may or may not be aware of, from fully automatic, right through to fully manual.

It may seem daunting but there are some easy ways to start hacking into these.

So are you ready?

Do this:

Set the mode dial to A/Av or aperture priority.

Set ISO to auto

One of the reasons I suggest putting it into auto ISO is that, you’re just taking control of one of the parameters to start with. Once you get more used to it, you can start setting the ISO yourself. 

Now, take a photograph.

Congratulations, you have just taken your first photograph out of auto. Not that bad was it!!??

Aperture priority isn’t quite manual mode, but it is a step in the right direction. It’s kind of a semiautomatic mode. You set the aperture and then the camera sets the shutter speed and ISO accordingly. When shooting like this, just be careful of motion blur.

If you’re shooting handheld, a quick tip here is to make sure your shutter speed doesn’t go below the corresponding figure of your focal length. What I mean by this is if you’re at 50mm, don’t let your shutter speed go slower than 1/50 second. Or if you are at 200mm make sure your shutter speed is at 1/200 or faster. When shooting handheld, this tip will help you in getting sharp images.

Now find where the Exposure compensation is on your camera. On the sony cameras, it can be found as a dial on the top which makes it easy to get to. On Nikon and Canons it’s within the +/- button. But find it and familiarise yourself with it.

Exposure compensation is a way of influencing the exposure that the camera thinks it should be. So if you take  a photograph in the A, S or P modes, you can make the image brighter or darker. So for instance if you take a shot, and it looks dark….go +1 on your exposure compensation dial. If your image is too light, go -1 on your exposure compensation dial. This should darken the image. If this is too much or too little, adjust it accordingly.

Normally you’ll have an exposure meter on your screen or in your viewfinder. When you use the exposure compensation, you’ll see it’s effect on this.

So exposure compensation gives you the ability to nudge this one way or another.

This makes all of these modes very powerful. You can quickly expose a shot, and if it’s too dark, use the exposure compensation dial to brighten it up, or if it is over exposed, you can darken it down.

When you are in aperture priority, you can determine the depth of focus by controlling the aperture, when in shutter priority, you can make sure you control the motion blur.

So remember, Set to Aperture priority or A/Av, ISO to auto, and then use the exposure compensation tot week the exposure to what you want.

I use this mode when I’m shooting ever changing conditions or if I’m feeling a little lazy. The camera will expose the shot and I can quickly tune it for the best photo possible.

When the exposure is constant for all the shots you’ll be taking….that’s when Manual mode comes into play….I’ll cover this in a future episode…..and if you’re in the future now…..look for the link to this at the end.

And that’s about it. Follow this for a tentative step out of auto and remember, if it all goes wrong and you’re not getting the shots you want, you can always switch back to auto….but if you persevere, you’ll learn so much about photography and you’ll gain more control over your results.





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