Photography Techniques

Explaining Program Mode – Photography Tutorial –

Written by Dave Peterson

Program mode in Exposure and comparison of all four modes of Exposure

Explaining Program ModeExplaining Program Mode – After going through the aperture priority mode and shutter priority mode it is time now to have a look at the third option called program mode in case of auto exposure. In program mode camera decides aperture as well as shutter speed on its own, you don’t have to worry about these parameter selection in your camera. However program mode auto exposures will not get you best results in all the situations.

As the name suggest program mode works on a fixed programmed logic, not all the times the value of parameters that program stored in the camera opts will be ideal for that particular situation and hence the results in photographs may not be the best. After all, the camera designer might not have taken every minute deviations and unexpected situation into consideration when developing logical program for your digital camera.

Explaining Program Mode- Good for beginners

Explaining Program Mode Though the program mode will produce less artistic results, it is good for beginners in the field of photography. The artistic part of photography is subject of photography experts but for those not knowing finer points of photography let your camera control as many parameters as it can. Now if you compare the three methods Shutter priority, Aperture priority and Program control, there are certain advantages as well as disadvantages of all of them. In case you have better control over exposure of the camera Shutter Priority and Aperture Priority can be used effectively for best results in snapshots.

In Shutter Priority and Aperture Priority it is advisable to use exposure compensation that is plus compensation for brighter exposure and negative compensation for darker exposure but the same is not to be used in Program mode exposure. The selection between Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority should be based on which exposure variable is more significant in a situation you come across. In situations where objects to be photographed are moving shutter speed is important so keep that control with you and let camera adjust the aperture, that means use Shutter Priority mode in your digital camera.

Explaining Program Mode-  Know your situation

Explaining Program Mode In situations where you need to have depth of field, have control over aperture and let camera do the settings of shutter speed, that implies you have to use Aperture Priority mode in your digital camera. However the biggest disadvantage of using Shutter and Aperture Priority modes is the difficulty in switching between them. For same type of settings you will be comfortable with either mode, but if the situation fluctuates from one type to another then you need to change the modes also for better results. This switching requires changing your mindset in addition to changing physical controls.

Explaining Program Mode –  Make it work for you!

You have to mentally switch from controlling aperture to shutter speed and vice versa. The alternative to this is manual exposure alternative where you have to select aperture and shutter speed manually on your own. For manual exposure there are viewfinder meters in camera to tell you about the consequences but camera itself will not try to compensate for any adverse effect to your results. As the situation demands you should be able to select the most appropriate exposure settings. Try learning all the four modes. There must be some reason for manufacturer to include the four modes for exposure in digital camera.

In this part various exposure setting options in digital camera were discussed. Now it is time to get accustomed to various exposure situations namely over exposure and under exposure. Also in the next part terms like tonal range, luminance distribution and bracketing will be discussed in detail.

Tutorial Ten – Exposure Management DSLR – Photography Tutorial

Tutorial Eight – Aperture VS Shutter Priority Mode

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About the author

Dave Peterson

Dave Peterson
Passion for adventure and sharing his life long journey with as many others as possible.

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." HENRY S. HASKINS

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