The Out and About March prompt is “APERTURE PRIORITY” : by Neva Kittrell Scheve
Let’s get your camera out of Auto Mode and try Aperture Priority for more artistic control of your photograph.
The definition of Aperture Priority: An automatic shooting mode seen on the camera as the “A” or “Av” mode, which allows you to set the aperture necessary to give the amount of focus you desire in the photograph. In this mode, you set the Aperture and the camera chooses the correct shutter speed to make a good photo. Use Live View or Depth of Field preview to see the amount of the image is in focus at different apertures. Choose the aperture that gives the amount of sharpness you desire. Shooting in Aperture Priority gives you greater control of your Depth of Field, which is defined as: The zone, or range of distances, within a scene that will record as sharp ... It is one of the most creative and profound effects available to photographers. Most digital cameras have the ability to choose different shooting modes, including point and shoot cameras. Although a point and shoot may not have as much control as a camera with interchangeable lenses, choosing aperture priority will still result in more creative expression and better photographs.
Basically, Aperture Priority allows you to choose the aperture, and your camera chooses the shutter speed that will result in the best exposure. If you want a soft or blurred background or foreground, choosing a wide open aperture setting (the smaller f stop number available, f 2.8, 4, 5.6,) will create that effect.
Shallow Depth of Field
Deep Depth of Field
If you are shooting a scene that needs to be sharp from front to back, then close the lens down by choosing a higher number f stop setting (f 22 -16) and your whole image will be sharp. For a scene where your subject is flat, or there is no particular reason for deep or shallow depth of field, a setting in between (f8-11) will produce the sharpest focus because that is where most lenses are set for maximum focus. (Big number – big depth of field [big area of focus]. Small number – small depth of field [small area of focus)
Not all lenses will produce the same result. The longer the lens, or focal length, the more dramatic the effect will be on the background, except for dedicated macro lenses which naturally have a shallow depth of field. Play around with it to get a feel of what your equipment can do.
The ISO setting controls the camera’s sensitivity to light. 100 or 200 is normal for daylight and 400 would work for pictures in dimmer light. Lower light setting in recent cameras can do well at ISO up to 1600 or better.
Some cameras have an “automatic” ISO setting that changes the ISO to compensate for a shutter speed or aperture setting. Keep in mind that the higher the ISO, the more noise (little specks) will appear in the image. Your camera may change the setting without you realizing it. For better control of the amount of noise you want in the image, turn off the automatic ISO setting so it will stay at the ISO you have chosen.
Here are some links we found on the internet that will help you. If you do your own Google search, you can probably find many others.
Why Use Aperture Priority? – This is a great article to read first
A beginner’s Guide to Using Aperture Priority Mode
Introduction to Aperture Priority Photography
Master Your Camera’s Shooting Modes (Very good article)
From our own Sandhills Photography Club website – Chart about Aperture and Shutter Speed
A detailed explanation of F Stop – Heavy on the math, but good info to know.
Explanation of Aperture and Shutter Priority Modes
Depth of Field
More about Depth of Field
This one touches on ISO and metering and the differences between Aperture Priority and Manual Modes