O.K it is now time to be brave, and leave the auto mode behind forever.
The Auto mode has a lot of technology built into it and can be helpful on an occasion when you don’t have the time to set up your camera properly, maybe what you want to shoot will be gone if you don’t take the shot immediately.
Of course this is because you are not experienced with the other settings, yet.
You will always make your photo sharper and better if you use the other modes.
There are 3 things you need to understand to take the first steps away from Auto Mode:
1. Aperture Mode
When you look at something far away, you have to squint your eyes, you are actually closing the lens to focus on that far away object. The lens on the camera works the same way. If you want to take a photo of something far away you have to tell your camera. This is achieved by closing the aperture on the lens. You make far away subjects more clear.
How much light do I let into the lens?
You need to select a high f/ Stop. Turn the aperture input dial (usually found on the right hand grip) while looking through the viewfinder or at the LCD panel at the back of the camera. As you turn the input dial you will see the f/numbers change. These are your aperture settings, given in increments known as f/stops. F22 is perfect for landscape photos as you want to see everything which is far away. The table below gives you an indication of the amount of light each F stop allows through the lens and which light conditions you use these different increments.
Depth of field – This refers to how much of the image you want in focus, for landscapes you want a large depth of field and with close up photos like macro you want a small depth of field where the subject is in focus and all around the subject is blurred.
In Aperture priority mode you select your aperture and your camera will select a shutter speed automatically.
NB. for portraits normally you choose a mid range F stop F8.
2. Shutter Mode
How fast your shutter opens also controls how much light is left into your cameras sensor. It makes a whole pile of sense to say the faster your shutter speed is, the less light is left through to your sensor. The slower your shutter speed the more light is left in through your lens to the cameras sensor.
Where would you use shutter priority?
If you want to take a photo where it is extremely dark, where the scene is low lit, you need to tell the camera to let in more light even though your subject is close. You could choose a slower shutter speed of 1/4 of a second. (You might consider a tripod for these slow shutter speeds).
If your subject is moving you need a fast shutter speed or else you will get a blurred image as your subject moves. The faster the shutter speed, the less chance of movement.
The classic shot you take using shutter priority is of a waterfall, when you want the water to look like a river of milk. Here you use a slow shutter speed to allow the camera to read and capture the movement which gives the flowing water that milky look. For this shot also you might need a filter on your lens so as not to over expose the image or make it too bright as you are letting a lot of light into the sensor. A tripod is essential here also as camera shake can make the final image soft which is the opposite to sharp which you always strive for,
In shutter priority mode the camera selects the aperture automatically.
3- Manual mode
This is the mode you want to master as it gives you control over Aperture and shutter speed, nothing is left to Auto, you select your aperture and shutter speed, by constantly reviewing the image you take and adjusting you will get the correct exposure, make a mental note of the settings and then go to a different lighting set up and repeat process . By knowing how to control these two settings and selecting a correct ISO you are in complete charge of your camera and everything is achievable. To master this mode you need to go out and test these settings under all lighting conditions, you learn as you go. Soon enough you will see a marked improvement in the quality of your work.