Why I've never shot manually on my Canon camera

Clive Booth EOS R shoot
(Image credit: Clive Booth)

Last year I hosted a live stream interview with legendary photographer Martin Parr, and one of the questions asked was about his camera settings. To the great surprise of many of our audience, he proudly announced that he used Programme ‘P’ and the chat box lit up, one viewer exclaiming ‘P’ is now for Parr.

I agree with Martin, as I too am an advocate for letting the camera do the work, allowing me to focus on the creative. I don’t use ‘P’ but for my entire career, I’ve shot on ‘AV’ aperture priority. For me, this gives me control of the one thing I value above all others and that’s the depth of field. I’ve built a career using fast prime Canon lenses at very wide apertures. My assistants often laugh when I shoot at f2.8, exclaiming that I’ve stopped the camera right down.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Clive Booth
Professional photographer

After a 20-year career as a graphic designer, Clive decided to follow his lifelong ambition and become a photographer and filmmaker. His use of prime lenses and selective focus along with natural, available, continuous and found light gives his work an atmospheric and ethereal quality. His unique style, along with constant experimentation with new technologies and techniques, has attracted numerous international clients, including fashion brands such as Hackett London, LVMH, H&M and beauty brands such as MAC Cosmetics and L’Oreal. He also works for such corporate giants as Asus, Intel, EY and Aston Martin. In his role as a Canon Ambassador Clive gives talks and workshops both here in the UK and across Europe. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge, experience, expertise and learnings with young people and collaborates on visual storytelling workshops for Canon's Young People Programme, Canon Student development program and is an advisory board member and teacher for the Ideas Foundation Charity.

With contributions from