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Introduction to Aperture and Shutter Priority Modes

For the past few days we’ve been looking at different aspects of exposure namely ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture. We’ve discussed that what changes they will bring in the image now we’ll discuss how to use them and create the desired effect.

Most of the cameras allow the user to adjust its setting in two ways: manually and auto. Here we will discuss ways of mixing the auto and manual settings:

Here we will talk of two semi manual modes used for creative images:

  • Aperture Priority Mode
  • Shutter Priority Mode

Aperture Priority Mode (represented as A or AV):

Image Courtesy: Nayu Kim

Image Courtesy: Nayu Kim

If you select to shoot with the Aperture Priority Mode the camera system allows you to select the desired aperture as well as ISO and the shutter speed is automatically set according to the condition by the camera system. This simple yet useful and creative feature of the Aperture Priority Mode makes it favorite among most of the photographers.

Image Courtesy: Daniel Zedda

Image Courtesy: Daniel Zedda

Suppose you’re capturing images at a party.  The background is really busy with people and other stuffs around the house, so you decided to eliminate the unnecessary background by making it blurry (shallow depth-of-field).  To perform this, you adjust the aperture to f/1.4 which is a low aperture and will blur the background.  You start shooting person sitting on the sofa next to a lamp.  The lamp is real bright, so you decide to select a fast shutter speed to get the correct exposure as your aperture is wide open.  Here you’re going to use the aperture priority mode that would automatically set the most appropriate shutter speed of the camera system. Another example is when you decide to take pictures of someone sitting in a darker corner of the room, here you won’t have to again set the camera setting as the camera will automatically see that it is dark and choose a slower shutter speed.  All the while, you’re able to keep the aperture set to use creative depth-of-field. Only thing you need to keep in mind is that while shooting at slower shutter speed you must use a tripod because as discussed earlier slower shutter speed causes blur.

Shutter Priority Mode (represented as Tv or S):

It’s just the opposite of Aperture Priority Mode here you have to select the shutter speed and the camera system will automatically set the appropriate aperture according to the condition.

Image Courtesy: Chris Costes

Image Courtesy: Chris Costes

We all know that shutter speed determines the movement in the image. Thus it’s clear that you’ll shoot with Shutter Priority Mode while capturing moving objects mostly. For example suppose that you’re at a sports stadium shooting the fast actions of the players and you wish to reduce the motion blur so you stick to a higher shutter rate (1/2000) at this time the camera’s Shutter Priority Mode automatically sets the Appropriate aperture by calculating that what amount of light will be required at this shutter speed. While you want to capture image of the players with motion blur to depict that how fast he is moving you reduce the shutter speed that helps to get the desired. Only thing that you need to keep in mind while shooting with Shutter Aperture Mode is that the automatic selection of aperture will directly affect the DOF.

In the conclusion I’ll like to say that we can only provide you tips and ways to perform actions but the real game is to be played by you only, so keep practicing and shooting in order to improve your skills.

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