It is indeed a paradoxical title the one we deal here. You would believe that the sole purpose of a DSLR camera is to ensure that one does not have to rely on the auto mode. Yet, time and again, we find ourselves fiddling with the buttons and dials on our camera, trying to figure out how we can entrust at least some of the variables of the equation to the camera itself. It seems that dependency on technology is fast becoming the legacy of our life and times.
There are, however, photographers who believe that technology cannot, and does not, have the edge over human intuition and thoughts. These proponents of digital photography prefer to stay away from the ‘Green mode’ and shoot with as many variables under their control as they possibly can.
Yet, there are some auto modes, which make our lives as photographers ostensibly easier and certainly when it comes to photography for beginners, their journey to become better photographers somewhat smoother, if not easier. So what are those auto modes rather auto features on your camera?
These 2 hour digital photo editing classes will focus on the digital photo editing basics.
- How to get images from your camera to your computer.
- The differences between RAW and JPGs
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1. The Full Auto Mode (Green mode)
This is the mother of all auto modes on a DSLR camera. The proverbial ‘green mode’ that takes the photographer away from every aspect of making an image except for the composition bit. In the full auto mode (also known as Auto mode) all that the photographer has to do is to aim his camera, zoom in or out and then press the shutter release. It is the exact thing that you would do with a Point & Shoot except that in this case it is done with a thousand dollar lens-camera combo capable of shooting creative masterpieces in the manual mode.
In the full auto mode the camera decides what shutter speed and aperture to use. It also decides what ISO number to dial in for the right exposure. Additionally, if you have set your camera to Auto-focus it would decide where to focus.
There are two ways of looking at this extreme convenience or extreme laziness.
Auto-focus isn’t something that was always a given. It came a long time after interchangeable lenses came on to the scene. It is probably what made early photographers more respectful towards the demands of good photography. But now, however, it has become a sort standard for shooting and shooting fast with confidence. People now trust auto-focus because they don’t trust their own eyes anymore!
Auto-focus, as the name suggests, is a mechanism that enables the lens to automatically acquire focus. It is a fantastic way to quickly and effectively lock focus on the point of interest in a composition and beats the archaic turning-the-ring-to-focus process of manually focusing a lens.
One big problem of using auto-focus, however, is that you need a reasonable quantity of light in order to use AF. AF does not work when there is little to no ambient light. Additionally, AF wouldn’t necessarily be the choice of people who want to shoot videos.
3. Auto Exposure
Auto exposure is yet another of the auto modes available on all cameras. Auto-exposure works in all of the priority and auto shooting modes. Auto exposure basically determines the right exposure as per the metering settings that you have dialed in to your camera. So, if you are in aperture priority and set an aperture f/8 at ISO 100 with spot metering, the camera will do all the number crunching after assessing the reflected light coming off of the scene and then give you a number. That would be the shutter speed. As a matter of fact it sets that value to the camera automatically, without you having to break a sweat. In the manual mode, however, you decide what exposure settings to use. It is the complete opposite of using the Auto mode.
4. Automatic Exposure Bracketing (AEB)
While the auto exposure option is somewhat too dummy-ish and not many protogs prefer using it, the next feature that I am going to write about is rather frequently used in both film and digital photography and by protogs too. It is called Automatic Exposure Bracketing (AEB).
The AEB feature is a sort of fail safe for a photographer who isn’t quite sure as to the right exposure settings for a scene. At least this was the reason AEB was used in film photography. In digital photography, however, the use of AEB is more for the creation of High Dynamic Range (HDR) images.
In this process two or more images of the same scene are created but with different exposure values and then combined together in Photoshop to produce a single image with higher dynamic range than is possible in a single capture. The images are captured automatically and with the changes in exposure settings applied automatically, which leaves the photographer with the simple task of stacking the exposures in Photoshop.
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We will cover the dials and buttons, what they mean, aperture, iso, composition and framing and then be part of a real live portrait photo shoot with an award winning photographer to put all that you just learned into practice straight away.