The Right Setting


I used to wonder about what setting should I use for my photography, Aperture priority (A), Shutter Priority (S), Manual (M) or even full Auto, in my first stages when I used to have my Sony R1 camera, I always used A, because it had live view and I could actually see the picture and the effect of changing the A setting on it before I take it, and it helped me a lot, did not use S because I never needed it or never new what to use it for, during that time I used to hear a lot of crap about a real photographer should always use manual, I did not bather argue with them because there standard answer to me would be “you don’t even have an SLR” and they’d think they are the smart ones and I hate to argue with idiots, after I bought my D80, I lost the live view, in-fact, I was shocked that the screen did not work, I had to look throw the view finder! I never did that with my sony, and i was thinking “come on, me look from that little hole” well, that little whole became my life after some time, any how, going back to my D80, the second day I bought it, I took for a ride in NYC, and I continued to use A, I had difficulties at first, but after 2 days I gained control of it. I wanted to learn more about photographer, and to understand how this “A” thing work, I had to turn the nob to Manual oOoOoOoO! so I did, but before that I started reading about the relationship between Aperture and the Shutter speed, it turns out it is exactly like Men and Women! the more you open the aperture the less speed you want and vice versa, and I started working from there, on trail and error basis, from then till now I took a big leap in learning and there are still plenty to learn, but I had difficulty with manual, not technical wise but time wise, some times you need to shot some thing or an emotion right now, but by the time you figure out the setting you need, boom!, its gone, after missing a lot of good photos, I realized that manual does not always work, some times I have to use A and S and even full Auto, so at the end it all goes down to how fast you want to take that photo, and here is my latest conclusion (nothing genius, but hey, don’t push it) :

  •  Full Manuel, when you have all the time in the world.
  • Aperture priority, when you want a certain “depth of field” and you have a limited time (or don’t want to think)
  • Shutter speed priority,  when you want a certain “motion” and you have a limited time (or don’t want to think)
  • Full Auto, when you feel like”I don’t give a s*%t about the setting, I just don’t want to miss this shot”

Thank you for reading.

4 Comments on “The Right Setting”

  1. moayad says:

    May I add some points? 🙂

    – Use full Manual when you have everything els under control. It is best used if you are shooting in a studio or making long exposures or in any place where the lighting is constant and well controlled. This way you only do the settings once to match your needs and only do minor changes later if necessary.

    – Aperture Priority is my favourite mode :). Set it depending on the required DOF or sharpness/smoothness you require.. or depending on how much light you have. If the camera is hand held in low light then you most likely want the widest aperture.

    – Shutter Speed Priority -obviosly- is used when you care more about capturing movement.. if you want to freeze things or paint with them. It is also good to use it when you are using flash, in my old film camera it was advised to set the shutter speed to 1/60 and play with the aperture manually.

    – Full Auto… shame on you!


    – There is also the P setting where you have some controle over simple things like the ISO, white balance and compensation. y3ne t7fe’9 ma2 al wajh shway :p

    In general, using Full Manual dose not in any way indicate that you are a smarter or better photographer!

    Ok.. so you must know “how” to use it.. but you don’t “have to” use it!

    After all… you didn’t pay hundreds or thousands of KD’s to buy the best camera you can afford to end up doing all the thinking for her…. let “her” think for you.. she is smarter than you think 🙂

  2. True Faith says:

    So benefiting Feras, and very easy to fathom 🙂

    Thank you

  3. kuw_son says:

    Exactly that what I would say about the settings ..

    I used “M” at early times when I bought my camera, then I realized that I don’t have time to stay behind the view finder and rotate that gear many times to have the right exposure .. then I turned to use “Av” all the time !

    it is useful and faster indeed .. I’m enjoying this setting, but in case I wanna have special effect like drawing using light .. i would use “Tv” or just put the setting on “bulb” to choose the time manually ..

    Thanks for sharing this valuable information .. I really enjoyed sharing thoughts with great photographers minds 😉

  4. Maha says:

    Can i say that this is the most exciting artical u wrote .. it makes me know something new about u and had alot of usefull information too..
    There are so many thing u wrote , but what attract me alot is the subject.. i mean i always wonder which setting is right or wrong,, also i heard that auto is forbedn to use :p
    but what u wrote gave me a clear understanding for each setting use..
    thanks 🙂

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