September 5, 2007

E: Exposure Modes

A quick look at exposure modes today...

Have you ever spun the dial around your camera? I am a Canon gal...so I wanted to run through my most favorite settings (besides all manual, and the infamous 'green box') that I use in different situations. Sometime to love about digital is that it costs only time to try out different features on the camera...there's no film to waste. So why not try something new?

The Av Setting: Aperture Priority
I set the aperture, the camera decides the rest. For the most part, I shoot consistently in this mode. I love it because I can set the depth of field to my choosing, and let it do everything else. For this sunset shot, I wanted them to silhouette out and the sun to have a sparkle (with the rays prominently showing). My first goal was to get them right before they kissed and the sunlight would shine right through their lips...but they were too fast for me. :) It's that split second just before they touch that makes a great photo...so I settled for the sunlight peeking from their eyes.

the specs: ISO 400, F/10, 1/400 sec.

The Tv Setting: Shutter Priority
I set the length of exposure time, and the camera chooses the rest. I love this setting for fireworks - so I can set the exposure start time based on the 'boom' of the fireworks as they ascend. The longer streaks are the ones that I capture for a second or two, the golden sparklers are just for a split second (meaning they exploded near the end of the exposure).

the specs: ISO 100, F/5.6, 4.5 sec.

Portrait Mode: the little head icon
For more automatic blurred backgrounds, and an easy way for the camera to decipher the light for you.

the specs: ISO 400, F/5.6, 1/800 sec.

Landscape Mode: the mountain icon
Used when you want the whole scene in focus. Typically sets a smaller aperture so that you find focus from the near to the far. I wanted to have the trees in focus just as much as Vickie and Stella.

the specs: ISO 400, F/7.1, 1/200 sec.

Macro mode: the flower icon
Used for close-ups on just about any type of subject. Extracts detail and sets the blur around the detail. Typically a large aperture.

the specs: ISO 100, F/3.2, 1/100 sec.

Sports mode: the running man icon
My favorite setting for jumping shots, fast movement, or when I want "burst" mode of a set of photos in a row. Depending on which camera I'm using, I can get up to 14 frames in a row...to get the early jumpers and the late ones. It helps capture them at their most natural point.

the specs: ISO 400, F/2.8, 1/250 sec.

The No-Flash Mode: the lightning crossed out icon
When the flash would ruin the mood. Typically, especially in darker situations, you will need to stabilize the camera on a tripod or table to adjust for longer exposure times.

the specs: ISO 400, F/2.8, 1/200 sec.

What's your fave? What do you use most?

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