The strategy for choosing the optimum diaphragm
Find the aperture value at which your lens shows the best sharpness, and use this value whenever possible (most often it is f/8 or so). If you don't have enough…

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Light is the heart of photography. The camera does not see the image. There are no lines, shapes, or textures for it. A film or digital sensor is only susceptible…

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Despite the progress in the field of automation of photography, cameras still require people who would suggest them to take pictures of the object and pressed the button. The camera…

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Аuto mode

Fully automatic or green mode does not need to be introduced. The camera thinks about everything here. Not only the shutter speed and aperture, but also autofocus, flash, white balance, in short, everything is under her control. Except that she doesn’t press the button herself… Although work is already underway in this direction.

Often, the AUTO mode is supplemented with an almost identical “no flash” mode.

Listen to good advice: if you are still shooting in AUTO mode, try at least experimentally switching to program mode (P). You will lose absolutely nothing, but you will be able to consciously vary the degree of automation of the shooting process, that is, decide for yourself which parameters to leave at the mercy of the camera, and which to control personally.Access to exposure correction alone will allow you to significantly improve the quality of your images, eliminating exposure meter errors. Add to this the white balance and image styles control and your photos will Shine with completely new colors.

Story modes
Scene modes are available, to my regret, in almost every camera, except for the harsh professional models. These programs are designed to make life easier for the Amateur photographer when shooting a certain set of standard scenes, but in fact, the soap modes only confuse the novice. If there are so many scene modes in the camera that they do not fit on the disk, they are usually hidden under the General label SCENE or SCN.

I must touch on the most common story programs to show you that there is no magic in them, and that they are essentially just functionally inferior derivatives of the classic exposure detection modes.

In portrait mode, the camera only sets the lens aperture to the maximum (minimum aperture number) to achieve a shallow depth of field and blur the background. If the program is called “Night portrait”, the flash will work in slow sync mode.

Here, on the contrary, the camera tries to cover the aperture so that all the objects being shot are in focus. In addition, the use of a flash is not allowed in landscape mode, although, in my opinion, a fill-in flash to highlight the foreground is not the last thing, even in landscape photography.

For shooting fast-moving subjects, such as athletes or children, the camera opens the aperture and resolutely raises the ISO sensitivity to ensure a sufficiently high shutter speed.

In macro mode, the SLR camera sets the aperture to f/8 and … that’s it. It can’t change the lens without your help. And what is f/8 in macro photography? What if I need an f / 11 or f / 16? Compact cameras with a non-replaceable zoom lens behave in “macro” mode and are absurd at all, setting the lens to an extremely wide-angle position, which is, to say the least, stupid.


More and more exotic story modes are constantly being invented, like macro photography of Pets on a night beach, but I don’t even want to waste my time and yours on them.

So why not use story modes? Because they simply limit your creativity, tying you to a limited set of stories and an even more limited set of options within each mode. What should I do if I want to change the depth of the sharply rendered space? Or sync the flash over the back curtain? Or change the ratio of external exposure to flash exposure? Or disable auto ISO when shooting from a tripod? Who needs flawed sub-modes when traditional P, S, M, and A give the photographer complete freedom and control over the photo at the same time.

Story modes, along with AUTO mode, exist for those who do not want to think while shooting, and it is the habit of creating that consciously distinguishes the artist from mediocrity.

Don’t be afraid of classic modes. First, get used to the program mode (P), and learn how to use exposure correction and white balance – the most important settings of the camera. You will see that there is nothing terrible and difficult in controlling the camera, and the benefit of this skill is very considerable.

Custom setting
A nice exception among the newfangled trends is a group of modes designed to save user settings and then instantly call them. In Canon cameras, user modes are indicated by the letter C (from Custom), in Nikon and Pentax devices-by the letter U (User), in Sony – by MR (Memory Recall). They work approximately the same way, allowing you to save a more or less complete range of camera settings, so that you can quickly switch between different banks of settings depending on the shooting situation. In fact, this can be compared to creating your own story programs, but they already fully meet your preferences.

The presence of user modes speeds up the work very much, and we can only regret that they are not present in every camera.

Additional mode
Some modes are specific to cameras of a certain brand, or even to specific models. Here are some of them.

Hand exposure
B (Bulb). This mode must be selected on some Canon and Pentax cameras to get a shutter speed longer than 30 seconds. in Bulb mode, the camera shutter remains open for as long as the shutter button is pressed. Usually in such situations, use a trigger cable or remote descent. In Nikon cameras, the manual shutter speed is available in manual mode (M).

Shutter speed and aperture priority
TAv. It is found in Pentax devices. In this mode, the photographer personally sets the shutter speed and aperture, and the camera adjusts the exposure by changing the ISO sensitivity. A mode with questionable utility. By the way, in Nikons, this trick is possible in M mode when Auto ISO is enabled.

Flexible mode
Fv (Flexible value). Seen on Canon mirrorless cameras. Fv mode is a slightly improved program mode. In fact, it works the same way as P mode, but allows you to manually set the desired shutter speed, aperture, and ISO values if necessary.

Sync with flash
X. only in Pentax devices. In essence, this is the shutter priority mode, in which the shutter speed is fixed and corresponds to the flash sync shutter speed (usually 1/200 or 1/250 s). Obviously, Pentax has too much free space on the mode selection disk, since the sync shutter speed was assigned a separate mode.

Depth of field priority
A-DEP. Present on Canon Amateur models. Something like aperture priority, but the aperture is chosen not by the photographer, but by the camera, so that all objects covered by the autofocus sensors fall into the depth-of-field zone. The camera also selects the focus distance. The mode was probably created for those who do not know what depth of field they need and where the focus should be.

Help mode
GUIDE. It is a distinctive feature of the younger Nikon models. Ostensibly designed to facilitate learning the basics of photography, but in reality slows down the shooting so that all the fun will end long ago, before you finish reading the next tip to the end.

Creative auto mode
CA. It is available in Canon devices and is a cross between fully automatic and program modes. Close to Nikon’s GUIDE mode. CA mode gives the user a little more freedom than green mode, but most functions are still blocked.

VIDEO. In some cameras, video recording is set to a separate mode. Well? A perfectly reasonable solution.


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