Monday, September 10, 2007

Auto Modes

Just wanna take somme good pictures without having to learn a bunch of technical mumbo-jumbo? Learning what the different auto modes on your camera really do can really help improve your photos.

  • Auto (green square): it just finds middle of the road settings as far as I know... It "just works" in most situations, so if you find yourself in a whirlwind of activity or otherwise just don't want to worry about it, this mode will work. But you'll probably get better shots in other modes.
  • Portrait (woman's head): blurs distracting backgrounds in front of and behind your subject -works well for a variety of shots, but your focus must be right on or your subject may be blurred as well. (For maximum background blur, the person or object you are focusing on should be within 20 feet of the camera.)
  • Landscape (mountains): the opposite of Portrait, it makes sure the parts of the photo that are beyond whatever you are focusing on are in-focus as well
  • Night (stars, moon): this mode tells the camera that it's flash won't reach far enough to illuminate everything you want to show up in the photo, so it'll use a longer shutter speed as well in order to get everything to show up in the photo. A tripod is a must in this mode.
  • Macro (flower): tells the camera you need to focus much closer than usual. This mode usually results in a lot of foreground and background blur just like Portrait mode does, so be extra careful that your focus is correct!
  • Sport (stick figure, running): the camera will choose a high shutter speed to freeze action. This will result in a short depth of field, much like Portrait Mode, so be careful of the focus! Sometimes its actually better to get a bit of blur in action shots to show movement. You may want to give the green square a try for sports. If you don't get any blur with the green square, you can try Landscape instead.
All modes are a balance between the two settings you control in Manual Mode: Aperture and Shutter Speed. To get faster shutter speeds, you'll get a more shallow depth of field. To get more depth of field, you'll get slower shutter speeds.

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