Which Shooting Mode is The Best For Someone Starting In Photography?
November 11, 2010
Let’s get this started, My first suggestion is to read the manual and always remember to bring them along, it is important to be familiar with our camera first and after that it will be much easier to deal with shooting modes.
First Two Weeks
I had the same question when I started in photography years ago, here’s what I did, at first I shot in full Auto mode, I was probably doing for two weeks shooting everyday. At the same time, I was familiarizing myself to the Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO settings given by the camera in Auto Mode. There were a few times that I will put it in M (manual) and shoot using the settings on some of the picture, just to see what kind of output I will get, and during that time I always want ask myself “Why?” and “How did it ended up like that?”
On the Third Week I jump into P Program Mode. Realizing that this is almost or exactly the same as Full Auto I skip it after a day and move to M Manual Mode. The P mode although the same as Full Auto, this will allow you to shoot in RAW format, in full AUTO you can only shoot in JPG format, also in P mode the camera will set the aperture and shutter speed but will also allow you to adjust if you want to.
That’s how I started, and I learned from then on, now, I mostly shoot shoot in Aperture Priority. During those times that I was starting using Manual Mode I used to set a base configuration or base settings for my camera, this was just a thought that came into my mind then, during the day, I set my camera’s shutter speed to 1/250, aperture between f/6.3 and f/8 and ISO at 100 or 200, during cloudy days / indoor – “shutter speed to 1/40, aperture between f/2.8 and f/4 and ISO at 400 or 600”. These settings mostly came from the P settings and the Full Auto Settings. During the first week that I was observing the behavior of those shooting modes, I notice this figures and wrote them down.
Now which shooting mode is the best for those starting in Photography? Here’s my 5 cents , first shoot in Full Auto and Program Mode, as you progress move to Av (Aperture Priority) then TV (Shutter Priority) and then Manual. That’s how I teach some of the people I bump into who ask for some help.
Here are the differences between AV, TV and Manual
AV Aperture Priority Mode : In this mode you will be able to set the aperture that you need depending on the lens you have, and the camera will give you the shutter speed
TV Shutter Priority Mode : This will allow you to set the shutter speed and the camera will give you the corresponding aperture.
M Manual Mode : This will give you all the power to control all settings, Aperture, Shutter speed and ISO.
Before I end this, this is what I always kept in my mind as basis, if I will shoot fast moving subjects, sports, kids playing and the likes, I will shoot in Shutter Priority, If I will shoot portraits, landscapes or any non moving subjects, I will shoot in Aperture Priority, If I will shoot at night or in Low Light, most of the time I switch to Manual to have total control. And lastly, shoot in the lowest ISO possible, but if you need to boost your ISO really hight, that’s fine if needed.
If you have any comments or additional suggestions or tips, please feel free to post a comment. Thank you.