What mode do you shoot in?

November 16, 2018

Recently I saw a Facebook post where an individual asked "what mode do you shoot in"?   I find that a very simple question…but also very odd from a professional who has lots of portraiture under their belt.

As it is a very fair question here are my answers based upon what is your desired outcome. 

As a photographer who loves shooting travel and landscape....generally I shoot in the Aperture mode. This allows me to obtain the greatest depth of field from the foreground through the background.

Monument Valley

I call this the Grand Canyon question. If you are standing on the south rim trying to shoot the north rim where do you focus?  Most people will focus on the north rim unfortunately that’s not correct. 

The answer is… in aperture mode depending upon your sensor size and the lens you are using I would generally tell people approximately 10 to 15feet out at F 14. To find a much more precise answer I use the iPhone app called SET MY CAMERA or on Android Hyper focal Pro. 

On the other hand, if I am shooting at a race track, baseball field, or outside sporting event I would generally shoot in SHUTTER mode or time value. This is so I stop the action.  Conversely if I am a sports professional shooting at a venue where the light never changes I would probably be shooting in MANUAL mode at a fast shutter speed, and corresponding aperture.  Or if I’m shooting inside in a studio with constant light or strobes and knowing that the light is not changing, once again in MANUAL mode.

Gateway Motor Sports Park

These are simple answers to the question asked and I hope this gives you a much better clue Joe which mode you should be shooting at...If you don’t understand answers to this I would suggest that you contact your local professional at a camera store.

By the way shooting in program mode is fine for somebody who doesn’t understand the difference between all three modes, however I never shoot in program mode because it doesn’t give me any control over my image.