When I teach I hear this so much. This idea that to be a real photographer you need to use Manual Mode all the time. Well, I think I am a real photographer and I hardly ever use it. Mind you, I don’t use auto, or program, but I do use Aperture Priority.
Most of the time when I am taking photos the most important aspect, well as far as the camera is concerned, is what the aperture is. It doesn’t matter what the shutter speed is, as long as I can get the depth of field I want, and if I am hand holding, then the shutter speed needs to be fast enough to cope with that. The ISO is always as low as it can go so I don’t need to worry about too much noise in my image.
Having to work out what the shutter speed needs to be means that I have to waste more time before getting my image. I love the freedom of just setting my aperture and then concentrating more on my composition and what I am photographing.
I have so many people who come to me who have done courses elsewhere and they learned manual. Then they get home from the class and try to use their cameras. They tell me how they get so confused, and it takes them too long to take photos. They end up with their camera straight back onto auto.
When I teach, I teach people how to use their camera on Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority. My goal is that when people leave my lessons or classes, they feel confident enough to continue using their camera off auto.
Now this doesn’t mean that I never use the camera on Manual, and sometimes there is no choice. I will put my camera mode onto manual when I want to override all the things the camera wants to do. For example, the image in this post of the Milky Way, can really only be done with the camera on Manual.
I would say that for 95 percent or more of the images I do I use Aperture Priority. I think it is fantastic, and I like the ease of it, and only having to worry about my depth of field. Really my composition is always the most important thing. I hope that doesn’t mean I’m not a real photographer.
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