Today, we continue our review of camera basics…for those who missed yesterday, we’re talking about the settings and easy buttons on our point and shoot and DSLR cameras. you bought the camera for a reason, lets learn to use it to its full potential. 😉 Alright here we go…continuing with #6:

6. NO FLASH. well, that’s sort of self-explanatory. The difference between this and P mode is simply that you can’t adjust the no flash mode like you can the P mode. Otherwise…they’re exactly the same for a “no flash” purpose. Here’s an example of when you’d choose the no flash option. you can see that the second photo is much more washed out. the camera automatically chose to use the flash in AUTO mode.

7. PORTRAIT mode. This setting is an especially nice setting for any point and shoots that have it. It helps to distinguish the subject (whoever you’re photographing) from the background by blurring the background a little. The camera just adjusts the exposure to maximize this for you. Not a bad deal for people who don’t want to mess with a program mode. NOTE: the further you place your subject from the background you want to blur, the blurrier it will be. These pictures illustrate that. Both were shot in portrait mode on the point and shoot and no editing was done (I’m trying to show you all what you get straight from the camera). Killian is much closer to the grassy background (that he is laying on) than Audrey is to the fence. And therefore his background is in more focus than the background behind Audrey. A little change of your angle in how you’re shooting changes this up a lot as you can see!


8. LANDSCAPE mode is basically the opposite of PORTRAIT mode. Instead of blurring the background, the camera does its best to expose the scene with as much in focus as possible. So if you’re taking a picture of a barn in a field, the barn and the field in front and/or behind it will be in focus…no blurry backgrounds with this mode. (If so, then the whole picture is probably blurry). 😉 I don’t know that I’ve really ever used this mode with any of my digital cameras. The only time I’ve taken landscape pictures, i’ve used the old school FM10. excuse the scan… i obviously shot this in film and don’t have a great scanner. I took this picture on our trip to yellowstone in 2003…yep, told you it was old school!

9. MACRO (the flower mode)…good for taking close-up shots of, you guessed it…things like flowers. Now, that’s not to say its limited to plants, of course, but any object you want to get a close-up of (jewelry, small toys, water drops, bugs…),you can do in this mode. The photographer gets up close and personal to the object and the camera focuses on the subject right under the center focus point. Done and Done. This image of the fruit was taken in manual mode but shows what the macro mode would look like at 50mm on the DSLR.
10. SPORTS mode. This is good for sports, obviously, but also for anything that is fast moving that you want to “stop” the action like your dog running in the backyard or quick little toddlers on the go. I took this IN SPORTS MODE on the DSLR. Notice how the snow flying off Brandon’s foot is stopped in the air. I love it.
11. NIGHT PORTRAIT mode. You use this mode to take pictures of your subject in the dark (with a flash) but to also have the background show up in the picture. Usually when you use your flash at night in regular AUTO mode, it blackens out the background significantly. In this setting, the camera slows the shutter speed for the picture so that the background is illuminated. its important to not move until the shutter closes, though so don’t use this setting for anything moving at night. Here’s what it looks like with the point and shoot. We were at Opryland hotel celebrating our anniversary which is at Christmastime. 😉

Alright, I think that’s enough to get us started. Does everyone ANYone have at LEAST a working knowledge of the buttons and settings on your camera now? 😉 I hope this info was helpful. It helped me when I transitioned from the film world to the digital age. I would just look at my camera and be like, “what the heck to all these buttons do?!!!” so…if you feel that way, trust me…you’re not alone!

gear up for some spring photography tomorrow! I want to see some of your pictures too! This isn’t a one way street, you know. 😉 There will be PRIZES involved so get ready…

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