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From the author of Key #3—Put Yourself in Charge with Advanced Shooting Modes

Key #3—Put Yourself in Charge with Advanced Shooting Modes

The problem with scene modes is twofold: you don’t know exactly what changes to your camera’s normal settings they make, and you can’t always find a scene mode that works as well as it ought to.

The solution? Set your camera for a shooting mode that puts you in charge of some (or all) settings:

  • Program—Choose Program (P) for general indoor photography (not fast action or trying to limit how much of the scene is in focus). The camera sets both shutter speed and aperture.
  • Shutter Priority—Choose Shutter priority (S or Tv) when you need to shoot fast action. In this mode, you select the shutter speed, and the camera sets the aperture.
  • Aperture Priority—Choose Aperture Priority (A or Av) when you want to control how much of the scene is in focus. In this mode, you select the aperture, and the camera sets the shutter speed.
  • Manual—Choose Manual (M) when you want to set both aperture and shutter speed. Use this mode when you’re shooting in a combination of very dim overall light with small areas of very bright light, such as fireworks, a campfire, or fireworks.

With all of these settings, you can also adjust the camera’s ISO setting (how much light is needed to make a picture), white balance (adjusts the camera for accurate color under different types of light), exposure override (to handle situations when the camera gets fooled by the background or by extraneous light in the scene), and turn on or turn off your flash.

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