Thursday, April 28, 2011

3 Good Reasons to Use Auto Modes


 1. If you’re relatively new to photography.

The auto modes will give you a great opportunity for exploring photography on several levels. It’s less to think about, and you have the freedom to concentrate on composing your photos and subjects that you wouldn’t have if you were concentrating on selecting shutter speeds and apertures. Photography takes training the eye to find good subjects and compose your shots. Shooting in auto modes gives you the opportunity to explore your camera and photography.

Steller's Jay - Auto Portrait Mode

When I first got my camera I used the auto modes for 6 months. I suggest you do the same. After several months of concentrating on composition and style my images were terrific. No one ever asked me if I was shooting using auto modes. A well composed photo is a well composed photo no matter what mode you’re in. And no one cares anyway!


2. You have an active subject.

Taking candid shots of kids, wildlife and pets can be a challenge; they tend to run, jump, or fly away. They move from sunlight to shade faster than you can change your camera settings. Shooting on an automatic mode can save the day. You’ll have a bunch of great photos and calm nerves.


Robin's Bath - Auto Sports/Action Mode  
3. The terms: Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual make your eyes go glassy and your brain shut down.

Take your time, wait until YOU are comfortable and have time to move beyond the auto modes. It will happen when YOU are ready. All the great photographers had to start with the basics. Don't rush. Just don’t pick your son’s first birthday party as your day of camera exploration. Spend lots of time practicing the advanced modes and do lots of “throw away” test shooting. Practice, practice, practice. Read, read, read. Look at lots of other photographer’s work. Study your own work - what can be improved?

Rainy Day Pine Cone - Aperture Priority Mode

Shooting in any of the auto modes doesn’t make you “less” of a photographer. Disregard anyone who tells you otherwise. Each of us has a different learning curve, and everyone’s goals are not the same. Some folks are headed down the path to becoming professional photographers; some want the ability to take perfect photos of family, friends and vacations without much effort. There’s room for all of us.


So, give yourself, a break! Use the automatic modes as long as they’re working for you. When you’re ready to step it up with your photography, you will.


Look at my past blog posts for a refresher of the various auto modes or if you are new to this blog. Revisit Matt Considine's guest post Capturing A Satisfying Image for more tips and ideas. 

Next blog post - composing your photos like a pro.

Keep On Shooting! 






35 comments:

JIM said...

I agree completely When shooting outside I almost always shoot in aperture priority. trying to shoot in manual when your lighting will be changing a lot is crazy...I do shoot in manual is difficult lighting when it is n't going to change or I have lots of time.

Good post


http://jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com/2011/04/life-cycle-of-magnolia-flower-in.html

Jessica M said...

Beautiful photos...I love the definition and contrasts. Great advice too...I'm a novice but love taking pictures..could use all the advice I can get!

Finding One's Way said...

Mari,
Your photos are so damn beautiful. Makes me want to run out and get an slr... and take lessons from you...
xoox
Jessica

Jim said...

Great advice Mari. I think training the eye and brain to 'see' or compose a great shot takes more to learn than getting away from auto mode.

David said...

Auto modes are my best friend when it comes to taking pictures. I generally select a safe mode and shoot away, maybe one day I'll take the training wheels off my camera lol The accompamying pics are so vivid and rich in detail especially the pine cone, your pics are great. Thanks for the post!!

Hostel Tinktinkie, Santa Rosa de Calamuchita said...

It is so difficult to separate from auto button when it has been your constant companion :)

LadyE said...

Great shots and good advice.

Sailor said...

Lots of good tips. I use my Sony and I use the Auto function. I was always under the impression that if I have to graduate to a professional level I have to use the manual.

Jorie Pacli said...

I so love that blue bird as well as the rest of the shots but that bird is just my fave.... And thanks for the tips as always Mari...:)

Geeta said...

awesome photos

Sarù @ Dolci Creativi said...

Your photos let me speechless..
xxx
Sarù

Alfandi said...

how very true..the auto functions are getting more reliable today..the last time I tested the Canon EOS 550D, the readings are pretty spot on..the previous problem with highlight misreading is already solved..only for landscape with bright light, will still need human intervention...

Kriti said...

Fabulous Mari - you really are!!! That bird took my breath away!

Galen Pearl said...

Hi, Mari! Thanks for following my blog. Following you back. I love photography blogs and I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful photos!

my3littlebirds said...

Oh, I have so much to learn about photography. I'll look forward to following your blog. Thanks for stopping by my3littlebirds and leaving such a sweet comment.

sandbox gems said...

Hi Mari! Thanks for stopping by my blog--am now your newest follower! I can use all the camera help I can get as I am a total newbie and still on auto for all my shots. Your site is so informative and your pics are great--thanks for sharing! I will be back!

whatstruckme said...

Wonderful advice as always.Thank you. I particularly loved the Robin taking a bath.

Rachel Hoyt said...

Auto mode is my friend. I enjoy determining a good composition for the shot much more than anything else. :)

Jewell said...

Mari...I am a fairly new visitor (courtesy of Jim's website - jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com), but being that I am an aspiring photog myself, I am loving your posts.

And, I have to admit, that it's good to know that there isn't anything wrong with shooting with the auto settings. I just received my DSLR camera for Christmas a couple years ago, and I'm working to build a portfolio to hopefully make a living off of something that I love to do. Though, the thought of trying to figure out the more advanced settings of my camera scares the crap out of me! =) This post helped make me more comfortable with what I am doing! Thank you.

Trish ~ ♥ ~ said...

Sometimes you just need to shoot in auto, but I generally shoot in aperture priority. thanks for stopping by my little place, I will be sure to be back for another visit.

Aaron said...

The number one reason for shooting in auto when you are starting out is photography is supposed to be FUN. if you aren't making images you enjoy you will never want to put the time into learning all the technical aspects of mastering the manual aspects of the camera.
Great post,
Aaron
http://www.aaronoutward.com/2011/04/hitting-streets-hcr-style.html

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

I agree, Aaron. Just figuring out what you want to photograph is daunting enough when you are starting out :D

bod for tea said...

Thank goodness for auto modes and thank YOU for reminding us we have total permission to use them! Love the photo of the bird taking a bath by the way :D

Aaron said...

Mari,
It is daunting figuring out what to photograph anytime :)

Climb2Nowhere said...

Great blog. Beautiful pictures. I know nothing about photography so it'll be great to learn about it. Thanks for checking out my blog and following. I've been on a blog hiatus, but will be back soon.

Kench Alegado said...

I'm not that knowledgeable about the terms you use in photography and I'm not so into it. I followed your blog though 'coz I love the pictures you are sharing! Keep 'em coming!

Climb2Nowhere said...

Great blog. Beautiful pictures. I know nothing about photography so it'll be great to learn about it. Thanks for checking out my blog and following. I've been on a blog hiatus, but will be back soon.

Jewell said...

Mari...I am a fairly new visitor (courtesy of Jim's website - jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com), but being that I am an aspiring photog myself, I am loving your posts.

And, I have to admit, that it's good to know that there isn't anything wrong with shooting with the auto settings. I just received my DSLR camera for Christmas a couple years ago, and I'm working to build a portfolio to hopefully make a living off of something that I love to do. Though, the thought of trying to figure out the more advanced settings of my camera scares the crap out of me! =) This post helped make me more comfortable with what I am doing! Thank you.

whatstruckme said...

Wonderful advice as always.Thank you. I particularly loved the Robin taking a bath.

my3littlebirds said...

Oh, I have so much to learn about photography. I'll look forward to following your blog. Thanks for stopping by my3littlebirds and leaving such a sweet comment.

Alfandi said...

how very true..the auto functions are getting more reliable today..the last time I tested the Canon EOS 550D, the readings are pretty spot on..the previous problem with highlight misreading is already solved..only for landscape with bright light, will still need human intervention...

Geeta said...

awesome photos

Hostel Tinktinkie, Santa Rosa said...

It is so difficult to separate from auto button when it has been your constant companion :)

Jim said...

Great advice Mari. I think training the eye and brain to 'see' or compose a great shot takes more to learn than getting away from auto mode.

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