- Programmed Auto: A Helpful Overlooked Exposure Mode on DSLR Cameras
- Exploring Cotonou, Benin (Africa) with Timelapse Photography
- Bird Photography Tricks in Your Own Backyard
Posted: 05 Aug 2013 04:37 PM PDT
In order to be a truly creative photographer, you need to take your camera out of the automatic exposure modes and put it into either Programmed Auto, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority or Manual mode. These four modes give you total control over the camera settings that make up exposure: aperture, shutter priority and ISO.
Out of these four modes, I feel that Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual get all the glory. But what about Programmed Auto? It comes in surprisingly useful in many situations and shouldn’t be overlooked.
What is Programmed Auto?
Programmed Auto is Nikon’s term for the P mode on its camera’s mode dials. It is called Program Auto by Sony, Program AE (auto exposure) by Canon, Fujifilm and Sigma, Program shooting by Olympus and Hyper-program by Pentax. Pentax users especially should check their camera manuals to see how Hyper-program works, as it’s a little more complex than that of the other manufacturers.
In Programmed Auto, you set the ISO and the camera sets what it believes are the most appropriate shutter speed and aperture settings according to the light levels. If you have an Auto ISO setting on your camera, you can give control of ISO to the camera as well.
The advantage of Programmed Auto over the fully automatic exposure modes on your camera is that it is unrestricted in terms of what camera settings you can select. In the fully automatic modes, you may not be able to adjust ISO, white balance, or Picture Control, apply exposure compensation, select a metering mode or even use the Raw format (the exact restrictions depend on which fully automatic mode you are in and the make of your camera, the details are in the manual).
At first glance, Programmed Auto may not seem as effective as Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority modes. Programmed Auto is more likely to select ‘middle of the road’ settings rather than exciting ones such as utilising wide apertures for narrow depth-of-field.
That’s where Program Shift comes in. If you don’t like the camera’s selected settings, you can override them with a twist of the main dial. To use Program Shift press the shutter button half-way down to obtain a light reading. The aperture, shutter speed and ISO are displayed in the viewfinder. If you don’t like the selected aperture and shutter speed settings, just turn the dial. They will change in tandem so that the exposure remains correct.
For example, if the camera selects an aperture of f11, but you would prefer to shoot at f4, just turn the dial until f4 is selected. The camera will adjust the shutter speed to match. (Note: This feature is called Flexible Program by Nikon and Program Shift by everyone else.)
Using Programmed Auto
In what situations is Programmed Auto useful? I think it’s useful in most shooting scenarios where you may adjust aperture or shutter speed from shot to shot. The photos in this article are typical examples. If you are using a prime lens and shooting everything at f1.8, for example, then Aperture Priority makes more sense. But if you are walking around taking photos and choosing different settings for each shot, then Programmed Auto may work better for you.
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Go to full article: Programmed Auto: A Helpful Overlooked Exposure Mode on DSLR Cameras
Posted: 05 Aug 2013 01:43 PM PDT
Thanks to modern technology, anyone anywhere can get a glimpse of life in other parts of the world. Pictures and movies help us daydream about what it would be like to spend a day in a place we’ve never traveled, all from the comforts of our own homes. This timelapse video of Cotonou, Benin’s largest city, is an armchair traveler’s dream (for those of you reading this by email, the timelapse video can be seen here):
The photographer, Mayeul Akpovi, behind this gorgeous work of art, used a combination of lenses, filters, and post-procesing software to create this timelapse and stop motion sequence. He shot the frames for “Cotonou in Motion” with a Canon 5D Mark III. His complete gear list included the following:
Neutral Density Filters
Changing lenses throughout his shooting resulted in a dynamic timelapse video featuring many different compelling angles of view. Some scenes even feature tilt-shift perspectives that make the subjects look as if they’re miniatures. The neutral density filters allowed for long exposures in bright conditions, a technique many photographers use to make their timelapse images flow together more fluidly. Post-production software gave Akpovi the freedom to edit the video in an artistic style.
With the right tools, photographers can show people all over the world a day in the life of their everyday surroundings.
For Further Training on Timelapse Photography:
There is a COMPLETE guide (146 pages) to shooting, processing and rendering time-lapses using a dslr camera. It can be found here: The Timelapse Photography Guide
Go to full article: Exploring Cotonou, Benin (Africa) with Timelapse Photography
Posted: 05 Aug 2013 11:20 AM PDT
Birds are a tricky photographic subject. They’re small, fast, skittish, and elusive. But capturing a photo of one up close is well worth the time and effort. You may not feel this way if you sit around waiting hours on end for birds to show up to no avail. There are many techniques you can use to help hide yourself and attract birds at the same time. In this tutorial, Tony Northrup shows you some ways to stay hidden, attract you favorite birds, and wait for the right settings (for those of you reading this by email, the video tutorial can be seen here):
Tony Northup’s book can be found here by the way: Stunning Digital Photography. Photographing birds is about more than just using the right camera gear. You have to have the right clothing and accessories too. Here’s a guide to a few other things you’ll need besides a camera and a tripod:
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