PHOTO TUTORIALS Browse All Photo Tutorials



Photo 101 : Exposure Modes < Previous | Next >
DSLR photography is not difficult, even though you might not believe me after all that mumbo-jumbo about exposure, shutter speeds, aperture and ISO settings. But trust me – the following section will make it clear that DSLR photography really can be a piece of cake!

There are four main exposure modes in every DSLR, and they control how the settings of aperture and shutter are determined.
Manual mode
In manual mode, you set the aperture and shutter speed by yourself. How do you know which combination of shutter speed and aperture leads to a properly exposed image? Simple – look into the viewfinder and there’s a indicator inside that centers when the combination delivers just the right amount of light!

[ Back to top ]
Aperture priority mode
In aperture priority mode, you set the aperture that you want and the camera will select the shutter speed that will deliver the right amount of light for a proper exposure. It’s easy, isn’t it?
Shutter speed priority mode
In shutter speed priority mode, you set the shutter speed that you want and the camera will select the aperture that will deliver the right amount of light for a proper exposure. See? How much simplier can it get?

[ Back to top ]
Program mode
This will really make your day – pick program mode on your DSLR, and the camera will pick both the aperture and shutter speed to deliver the right amount of light. You basically point and shoot with the DSLR!
Which exposure mode should I choose?
As a beginner, you should avoid using the Program mode as you do not have control over any of the settings, which defeats the purpose of using a DSLR to learn photography. The manual mode is great if you’re a hardcore student and want to dive into learning how exactly the photo is affected by changes in the aperture and shutter speed settings. However, it may be too big a jump for many of you who like to take little steps (nothing wrong with baby steps!).

I’d recommend picking either aperture priority mode or shutter speed priority mode to begin with. Using either exposure modes lets you play around with either the shutter speeds or aperture and explore the effects, while letting the camera take care of the other variable to ensure a properly exposed image.
< Previous | Next >