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Exploring Aperture Priority

Exploring the Aperture Priority 

We already discussed the full automatic settings as Auto or Program Modes in previous articles. Although the automatic settings are easy to use, they are not capable of producing the desired result. Therefore, in this article I am going to write about one of the Semi-Automatic features, Aperture Priority.

What is the Aperture Priority?

Aperture Priority is one of the semi-automatic features in cameras. Generally speaking, it allows you to set the Aperture value and the camera makes the final conclusion about the shutter speed and ISO. Therefore, it enables the photographers to use shallow or long Depth of Field.

Therefore, a photographer has the full access to all the cameras features in this mode. However, the shutter speed and the ISO are controlled by the camera.

In the picture below, I decided to have a shallow depth of field. Therefore, I selected the Aperture Value to the lowest number (f2.8), and camera adjusted the shutter speed and ISO for me:

Shallow Depth of Field

By using larger aperture setting, the focusing range gets shallower.
By using larger aperture setting, the focusing range gets shallower.

On the other hand, if I change my mind, I can simply increase the aperture value and bring all elements in to focusing range.

Long Depth of Field

Using a higher value for the aperture, expands the focusing range.
Using a higher value for the aperture, expands the focusing range.

Popular Uses of the Aperture Priority

Whenever the focusing range is an important key of the picture, photographers prefer to use the aperture setting. Therefore, prior to taking a shot, you should ask yourself whether you need a shallow depth of field or an expanded one.

Typically, for Landscape and Cityscape photography, photographers use an expanded focusing range. On the other hand, for Portrait or for those times that you want to separate your subject from the rest of the scene, you need a shallow depth of field. Here are some examples:

Shallow Depth of Field

A very Shallow Depth of Field, brings the viewer attention to the main element.
A very Shallow Depth of Field, brings the viewer attention to the main element.

Long Depth of Field

In landscape photography, longer depth of field is more desirable, as it expands the focusing to more elements.
In landscape photography, longer depth of field is more desirable, as it expands the focusing to more elements.

So next time when you grab the camera to take a picture ask yourself if the depth of field plays any role there. If the answer is “Yes”, then you need to select Aperture Priority. Of course, if you want to shoot in semi-automatic mode.

In the Digital Photography Bootcamp, I cover these differences in great details with more slides and students get the assignments to practice on these features. Our next bootcamp program starts June 5th, and tickets are selling fast.

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That is all for now. Stay tuned for my next photography Tips. We love to hear from you. Let us know if you have any questions, feel free to send  us your questions and we will be more than happy to answer them. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more Free Tutorials and Tips.

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