Exposure - Scene modes

Buy a modern digicam and you are literally spoilt for choice when it comes to exposure modes. Standard is usually the fully programmed mode in which the camera decides on aperture and shutter speed chosen. It is ideal for beginners but if you want be more creative you can choose from the many scene modes provided for you.

A few typical examples could be:

  • Landscape mode which maximizes depth of field by setting a small aperture of f11 to f16.
  • Portrait mode will choose a large aperture to keep the background out of focus and direct attention to your subject.
  • Action mode which selects fast shutter speeds to freeze the action.
  • Night scene, which balances a burst of fill in flash with a long exposure for the background.
  • Close-up mode, which combines a medium aperture with a faster shutter speed to avoid camera shake. You may also find sunset; beach; or party modes.

Apart from these fully automatic modes some cameras offer shutter priority or aperture priority. Shutter and aperture are the 2 most important controls on your camera and when you become more familiar with their effects on an image, you may want to explore the possibilities these two modes offer.