February 2009
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Camera modes (P/A/M/S)

Tip 126 (Program Mode): Typically marked as ‘P’ mode on the camera, this is the exposure mode for a person who is letting the camera handle exposure settings. In this case, it is the camera that checks the current exposures and sets the Shutter Speed and Aperture (Width of opening). ‘Program/ mode is the only exposure mode present in lower and less advanced point and shoot cameras.

Tip 127 (Manual Mode): Manual Mode is the opposite end of the spectrum from Program Mode. In this exposure mode, the photographer manually sets the exposure values for both the Aperture and Shutter Speed. This is done in cases where the photographer wants complete control of the exposure settings rather than letting the camera decide, and is also very useful when the frame has multiple objects with different light levels, and the cameras has determined a wrong exposure level.

Tip 128 (Aperture Mode): Aperture Mode is used when the photographer wants to set a constant aperture (camera opening diameter) for the photos. In this exposure mode, the camera then checks the overall light condition and sets the required shutter speed for each photo. Given that aperture controls the Depth of Field, being able to set a constant aperture level is useful when the photographer wants better control over the focus / blurred levels of objects in the photograph.

Tip 129 (Shutter speed): Used when the photographer wants to set a pre-determined shutter speed for all photos, and allows the camera to change the aperture levels in different photos based on the exposure levels available at that time. This is useful when the photographer is shooting in conditions where there is a necessity to maintain a constant high shutter speed such as when covering sports events.

Tip 130 (Play between shutter speed and aperture levels): By now you would have known that both shutter speed and aperture control exposure. Exposure is essentially a fancy word for defining the amount of light that reaches the camera, and this in turn is controlled through the time that the lens is open (Shutter Speed) and the diameter of the opening (Aperture). So, if you want to reduce the amount of light that gets into the camera, then you either make the shutter close faster, or you reduce the shutter diameter, or you do both.

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