Monday, October 5, 2009

I'm Freaked Out by my Camera! What is Aperture Priority?

Aperture priority, also known as Av or A on your camera, is a setting that most cameras have to allow you to choose a specific aperture while the camera selects a shutter speed to get the correct exposure. In manual mode you have to choose both aperture and shutter speed.
The main reason for using aperture-priority mode is so that you can control depth of field (I have a post on depth of field if you don't know what it is. It is further down.). Aperture priority is useful in many situations. It is very handy in landscape photography when you want to have deep depth of field and everything in focus. Using f/22 is great for landscapes where you want everything in your picture in focus. In Av mode, all you have to do is set your aperture to f/22 and your camera will adjust to get the correct exposure. In low light situations you might need a tripod to steady your camera. Av is also every useful in portrait photography where most pro photographers shoot at f/8. f/8 is used by most pro portrait photographers because it allows you to have your subject in focus while throwing the background out of focus.
I use aperture priority almost every time I shoot. It is easier than shooting in manual mode and gives me more control than setting the camera on full automatic mode. I have used Av to shoot waterfalls, portraits, and landscapes. I think it is one of the best features on cameras when it comes to getting the correct exposure. If you are shooting on full auto mode, you really need to try it out. All of the photos in this post were taken with Av mode. If you have any questions, let me know and I will do my best to answer them, and please leave a comment letting me know what you think, Thanks, Brian:)

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