Basics of Photography: The Different Shooting Modes

Most DSLR cameras come with a few different types of shooting modes, from full automatic to full manual. Learn what the 6 common shooting modes do and when to use them.

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Shooting Modes

Most DSLR cameras come with a few different types of shooting modes, from full automatic to full manual.

Automatic

Automatic takes care of everything for you. There’s not much to explain here.

Program Automatic

Program automatic sets your aperture and shutter speed automatically, but gives you control over other settings like ISO (the rating that affects how sensitive your camera’s sensor is to light—don’t worry, we will talk more about this later!)

Scene Mode

Scene modes generally have icons to represent their purpose, such as a mountain for landscapes or a fast-moving person for sports. Scene modes can be useful if you want the camera to assist you in photographing the types of photos each mode is designed for.

Shutter Priority

Shutter priority allows you to set the shutter speed and ISO but allows the camera to set the aperture automatically. This mode is useful if the shutter speed is the most important consideration when taking a photo. This is often the case when you want to make sure you take a photo fast enough to capture motion but do not care about the aperture. This is useful for photography sports, dance, or anything with a lot of movement.

Aperture Priority

Aperture priority allows you to set the aperture and ISO but lets the camera set the shutter speed automatically. This is useful when the aperture is the most important consideration in your photograph. A wide aperture (represented by a low f-stop like f/1.8) will produce a photo where your subject is in sharp focus but the background is very much out of focus. This is useful for portraits or focusing on a single object in an otherwise busy frame. A narrow aperture (represented by a higher f-stop, like f/8) will produce a photo where most everything appears to be in focus. This is useful for landscapes or any other situation where keeping everything in focus is desirable.

Manual

Manual mode lets you set everything.

Photography Classes For Moms | Learning Photography Shooting Modes

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Written by : Oak Five Studios

Oak Five Studios was inspired by my own journey through postpartum depression. I want other moms to know you’re not alone. You’re not a bad momma. And with the right support system, we can raise awareness and fight PPD.