Did you get a new DSLR for Christmas? Ooh exciting! Trying to learn about all the different functions? I’m here to help! Let’s talk about the different modes for shooting.
This turns your wonderful DSLR into a point-and-shoot. There’s no point in having a DSLR if you are going to use this mode. We are going to get you away from this!
Program Mode - "P"
Program mode may be a good place to start. In this mode the camera will select shutter speed and aperture for you. You are ready to use this mode when:
Auto focus is selecting the wrong subject in your photo
Your photos are too “noisy” because the camera is selecting a high iso
Your subject is too dark or too light
You want to turn off the auto flash
This mode allows you to change the camera-selected shutter speed and aperture in tandem; for instance, if the camera chooses 1/200 second and f5.6, it might let you shift it to 1/125 second and f6.3 or 1/250 and f4.5.
So go ahead, move to P mode. Let the camera choose, take a shot, see what you think. Then change the settings and see how your photo is affected. Hopefully you will see that increasing the shutter speed freezes action (like a bird in flight, a child jumping) and decreases the amount of light hitting the sensor. Decreasing the aperture value (which actually opens the aperture wider) blurs the background more and increases the amount of light on the sensor.