As beginners, it is tempting to stick to the auto mode because you can still take great photos without having to bother with the settings. Beginners are intimidated and are scared to try other shooting modes because they are overwhelmed with so many things.
When you begin to understand how exposure works, you might want to try other shooting modes to exercise your creativity.
Auto or Full Automatic Mode
The camera will set the aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance, and other settings for you. Press the shutter release button halfway so that the camera can focus and adjust the settings before you take the picture.
Flash Off Mode
This is similar to the auto mode but the camera’s built in flash will not fire. The icon is a bolt.
Some DSLR cameras have the ability to record videos with sound. Others still have more video modes such as panoramic and underwater modes.
Night Portrait or Night Scene
The icon has a bust of a human and a star on the upper corner. You can take pictures at night with this mode. The camera sets a slow shutter speed, flash and other settings. You will still need a steady hand or a tripod to avoid blurred photos.
Its icon is a running man. Ideal for moving objects, the camera sets a fast shutter speed to capture a moving subject.
This mode has an icon of a twin-peaked mountain. The camera sets a higher f-number or a smaller aperture to increase depth of field.
The icon is a flower. The camera sets a lower f-number to blur the background of the subject.
Portrait or Close-up Mode
The icon is a bust of a human. Ideal for close-up portraits because the camera sets a lower f-number or wider aperture to blur the background.
Programmed Automatic Mode
(P in Nikon and Canon) It is sometimes called semi-automatic mode. You can change the settings such as ISO, flash and white balance but the camera sets both the aperture and the shutter speed for you.
(A in Nikon and Av in Canon) You set the aperture and ISO then the camera does the rest for you. This is a great mode to practice with especially for beginners who want to try manual shooting later. You can play with the depth of field because you’re able to control the f-stop.
(S in Nikon and Tv in Canon) You can set the shutter speed and then the camera sets the aperture and ISO for you. This is ideally used for situations where you need to capture moving subjects such as wildlife and during sports events.
(M in Nikon and Canon) In this mode, you set the aperture, shutter speed, ISO and flash. When you have mastered how each of those tools work, you will be able to exercise your creativity more.