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Sunday, 19 June 2011

Shooting in Aperture-Priority Mode

First, you need to select the Aperture-Priority Mode at the camera Mode Dial. You might found your Dial looks different, but I'm sure you can find the Av icon ( In red circle) at the Dial :)

So, what does Aperture-Priority Mode do? Let's begin. These are the setting for my camera, but it will be about the same as yours as well. Do not worry ^^

Aperture = Selectable
Shutter Speed = Auto
Exposure = Selectable
ISO Speed = Selectable
Picture Style = Selectable
White Balance = Selectable
AF Mode = Selectable
AF Point Selection = Selectable
Drive Mode = Selectable
Metering Mode = Selectable
Built-in Flash = Selectable

Most of the settings are selectable in Aperture-Priority Mode, it is about the SAME as Exposure-Priority Mode.  I would say there is no more honeymoon for user who choose this Mode. There are many things to aware and you need to try different setting in different situation, Manually :)

The Shutter Speed is in Auto. Therefore, you need to pay attention to the Aperture, Exposure and ISO Speeds for a normal shooting, just ignore the white balance, drive mode and etc at the beginning. If you choose Aperture Mode, I believe you want the subject to stand out more and blur unwanted background in most case. I will show it step by step, in simple way.

1) Set your desire Exposure.
2) Set your desire f-number. Do you still remember the chapter "Controlling the Depth of Field" ? I think I should repeat it again, simple one.

- If you higher the f-number, the Depth of Field will be wider. Therefore, both in front and back of the subject will be focus. 

- If you lower the f-number, the Depth of Field will be narrower. Therefore, only the subject is sharp and clear, most photographers like to create a soft background for portraits.

- I believe it is rare to see the Shutter Speed blinking (In Green Circle ) to show an error because of overexposure or underexposure. If you maximize the f-number and Exposure, the Shutter Speed will be slower, and you probably will get a blur image instead of overexposure ( Unless you shoot to the Sun, It is not recommended to do so without a proper filter ).

- If you minimize the f-number and Exposure, trust me, the Shutter Speed is fast enough for you to play around. :)

3) Set your desire ISO Speeds.
-If you found you can't get a satisfy result because of the dark environment, set the ISO speeds higher in order to increase the Shutter Speed to freeze the motion.

- You are advised to skip directly to Step 10 because the AF Point, AF Mode, Metering Mode, Drive Mode, White Balance, Picture Style and Built-in Flash are about the Same as Exposure-Priority Mode.

4) Set your desire AF Point.
- You can select your desire AF Point in this Mode. Unlike Auto Mode, Portrait Mode, Landscape Mode and etc, you can now choose the point you want to be focused. The Red Square shows the selected AF Point.

5) Try to focus with Manual Focus.
- I strongly recommend the user who choose Aperture-Priority Mode use Manual Focus. All you need to do is push the button from AF to MF.

Well, although Auto Focus is very convenient in most of the time, you need to try Manual Focus in order to improve your skill. Also, Manual Focus save more battery than Auto Focus. If you do not have a Battery Grip ( I only use it when I attach the External Flash ), you can use Manual Focus so your battery can last for the whole day.

6) Set the AF Mode.
- I'm sorry to tell you that you are not allowed to use AF Mode if you are using Manual Focus. It is because once you selected Manual Focus, all the AF Mode selection will not works. Switch back to Auto Focus to capture moving objects. :)

7) Try different Drive Mode for continuous action.
- There are 5 different Drive Mode for my camera, which are Single, Low-Speed continuous Shutter, High-Speed Continuous Shutter, 2 seconds Timer and 10 seconds Timer.

The first thing you need to aware is light source. If the environment is too dark, you can forget about the Continuous Shutter because you will not get a sharp and clear picture. Please refer back to chapter "How to Freeze Motion?".

8) Set your desire Metering Mode.
- Please refer back to chapter "How does Metering Mode work?"

9) Set your desire Drive Mode
- Please refer back to chapter "How does Drive Mode work?"

10) Set your desire White Balance and Picture Style.
- As a photographer, remember one important thing.

"Arrive the Destination EARLIER and Try the Best White Balance and Picture Style Setting."

Well, I believe you will need to understand the environment before the wedding dinner or party get started. The light sources are not going to change (unless at outdoors) and probably you can try on different White Balance and Picture Style, look for the best setting so you will not screw your job. :)

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