Why Shoot Aperture Priority

Hi everyone, another Monday, another week.

I have received lots of questions this week about Aperture Priority.

As we are learning to use Aperture priority it seems appropriate to first answer the question that has come up the most ..............

'why shoot aperture priority over auto?'

  • It's far less daunting than going totally Manual
  • You have some control
  • The camera sorts out shutter speed for you
  • YOU can choose what you want to be sharp and in focus, and whether you want a dreamy background
Focusing on one flower leaving the others a little dreamy F 4

See below ..... very wide aperture to give a beautiful dreamy background.

Working with a wide aperture is a favourite of mine.
Simply lavender F1.8
  • For landscapes or when you want everything in focus ie you want to capture the place as well as your subject, you can choose to use a large depth of field = high f number.
Aperture F 8

Aperture F16

So again 'why shoot aperture priority'?

Because you can have some control.  The choice is yours.

Go ahead and use it.  Practice, practice.  I guarantee you will love this setting on your camera.

Top tips for portraits:

When shooting portraits my advice is:
  • not to go any lower than F2.8 - any lower than that and some of the face may be out of focus and probably not what you want. Always focus on the eyes, and the eye nearest to you. 
  • for a dreamy background be sure there is distance between subject and what's behind them/it
  • I mostly use F4 for portraits, but that's my personal preference.  For me it gives enough sharpness and beautiful softness around the edges.
Portrait F4

And now - To Flash or not to flash?

You may well be shooting indoors late in the day, because let's face it the nights are drawing in :(

Personally I'd rather up the ISO and risk a little noise/grain and get the image I want rather than use flash.

The image below was a wedding we shot a few years ago.  It was a wedding in November, late in the day and by candlelight.

Had we used flash it would have changed the wedding completely and wouldn't have recorded the event correctly. 
Oh and just to make it more difficult, the bride wasn't wearing white!  So we both upped the ISO to 6400 and captured the story of this couple just as it was told. 💖

ISO6400 Aperture F4

Tip for iPhone users

Did you hold on to your head phones that came with your iPhone?  If you didn't you'll wish you had!
Go fetch them now.  Stick them in your ears, pretend to be listening to something beautiful on your phone, switch to camera .........
NOW press the little switch on your head phones (you know the one that switches your voice on and off ....... did it take a photo?  It should've done!  
This is cool if you want to take photos without someone knowing!  More next week! 😃

Quote of the week

And this is one of my favourite quotes and totally how I feel when I'm taking photos

“The camera makes you forget you’re there. It’s not like you are hiding but you forget, you are just looking so much.”
— Annie Leibovitz

Thank you for joining me.
Have a fabulous week.  Just keep taking photos, practice and play with Aperture Priority.  I guarantee you'll absolutely love it.

Look forward to seeing you next week and the count down to taking Christmas pictures.

Jan x