"Life Beyond Program Mode" - Podcast 18

Program Mode

Don't get me wrong, I like program mode. I like my 24-85mm zoom lens too, but I don't want to use it for every shot I take. Sometimes I want a different look than what that lens can provide. The same goes for program mode.

In this week's podcast I discuss some of the situations where I prefer to use shutter priority, aperture priority, and manual exposure modes. Why? Because those modes give me a little more control in those situations so I can get exactly the shot I want. Here are a few examples.

Aperture Priority
This is a great mode for controlling depth of field. Aperture priority lets you set the f-stop, then the camera sets the corresponding shutter speed to make a good exposure. I like to use this mode for portraits with soft backgrounds (f-2, f-2.8) and for landscapes with extended depth of field (f-16, f-22).

Shutter Priority
When I need to freeze action, this is my choice. Shutter priority lets you set the shutter speed and the camera sets the correct aperture for you. I use shutter priority for outdoor sports (1/500, 1/1000, 1/2000) and to freeze moving water in its tracks (1/250, 1/500). If I want moving water to have a flowing, angel hair like appearance, then I slow the shutter speed way down (1 second, 2 seconds).

Manual Mode
This mode is the choice when I want complete control over both the shutter and aperture settings. My favorite use for manual mode is indoor flash photography at wedding receptions. I set the aperture to f-5.6 and the shutter speed to 1/30. This allows me to capture the ambient light in the surrounding environment so my subjects aren't illuminated against a black background.

Listen to the Podcast

Now that I've piqued your curiosity, it's time to listen to today's audio show titled, "Life Beyond Program Mode." You can download the podcast here (30 minutes).

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Another very informative podcast. However, it seems that there was a gap in the audio just after you finished talking about the two occasions on which you would use aperture priority. It seemed to skip part-way into the discussion of shutter priority. I don't know if it was just a fluke on my iPod, but I thought I'd let you know.

Your podcast makes me fill as though I am actually right there with you teaching me hands on. Your pace in describing how to do certain things are a welcome treat from the norm. Keep up the great work

Hi Derrick, I really enjoy your blog but have one small problem. Your blog entry bodies don't seem to display in NetNewsWire. I get the headlines, I get the summary/abstracts, but when I load the page in the browser pane of NetNewsWire all I see is the comments, not the article. I have to actually load your blog page in a separate browser to see the text of the article. Yours is the only blog out of over 120 that I have this problem with. Any idea what could be causing this?

Hi Larry, I just tested on my NetNewsWire, and it seems fine. So, first, are you using the current version? I tested on 2.0.1. Also, take a look at the feed you're using. Try this one:


Let me know how it goes...