Fundamentals of Operating a Camera-Part 2: The P Mode
In spite of the extraordinary features of most digital cameras, a large percentage of photographers, even some professionals, rely on the auto mode to take pictures. As a Minnesota architectural photographer, I never use this mode. I am frequently asked by other photographers to show them how to take better pictures with their digital camera.
The “P” mode is almost interchangeable with similar modes called Auto, Programmed Auto, and Creative Auto (CA). All of them rely on a logarithms to determine a scene’s optimal exposure to create a photo. Although this mode does allow the photographer to make adjustments to several camera settings, few people take advantage of this option. Instead, they just press the shutter.
In many cases, the camera takes a good picture. But, it is also not making any judgment about the content of the photo. In other words, the camera doesn’t care what you are shooting. As a result, most of the photos taken with the P mode fall into the average category: average exposure, average Depth of Field, average focus, average color. This can impact the quality of headshot photography and architecture photography one can produce. It can also make a mess of any event photography you are trying to produce.
If you’re interested in taking your photography to the next level, consider moving off of P mode to one of the Creative Modes. This might feel a bit scary to some people because your mind might be saying to you, “OMG! I have no idea what to do next or where to start!” This fear might have had some basis in fact when most photos were taken using film. You had no idea what you were going to get until you got the pictures back from the lab. Nowadays, you simply have to review the image on your camera’s LCD to see if you took a good picture.
In upcoming posts, I’ll be talking about your camera’s Creative Modes.
More Fundamentals of Operating a Camera:
Part 3: The Creative Modes
Part 4: Aperture
Part 5: Shutter Speed
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