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Are you using the right creative mode for your photos?

Canon
Aperture Priority is a great choice to control depth of field, leaving your camera to evaluate the shutter speed automatically for a standard exposure (Image credit: Brian Worley)

Cameras have a range of creative exposure modes – program, shutter and aperture priority, manual, and more recently flexible priority – that help you capture the pictures you want with minimum effort. These modes enable you to bring something extra to your shots, choosing how movement is captured and selecting the right depth of field. 

Program mode takes care of the exposure, setting shutter speed and aperture so that you can devote your skills to framing and working with the subject. Once metered, rotate the main dial to adjust the selected combination of shutter speed and aperture.

For a landscape or portrait, you’ll have an idea of the depth of field you want, so aperture priority is the one to choose. Select Auto ISO and the camera does its best to avoid camera shake, too. 

Shutter priority is ideal for moving subjects – you choose to freeze the action or let it move with your choice of shutter speed. If the aperture value flashes, that’s your notification that you might want to review the shutter speed. Enable Auto ISO or the safety shift custom function to avoid exposure problems. 

About Canon Pro: Brian Worley

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(Image credit: Brian Worley)

Brian is a freelance photographer and photo tutor, based in Oxfordshire. He has unrivaled EOS DSLR knowledge, after working for Canon for over 15 years, and is on hand to answer all the EOS and photographic queries in Canon-centric magazine PhotoPlus (opens in new tab).
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Flexible priority is a new mode for Canon's mirrorless EOS cameras like the Canon EOS R6 (opens in new tab) and Canon EOS R7 (opens in new tab). It enables you to control as many parameters as you want. It’s helpful when experimenting with options, and can be quickly reset to full automatic selections at the press of a button. 

Lastly, there’s manual mode. You make the choices for shutter speed and aperture, but with Auto ISO and the wide range of usable ISO settings, it’s like an automatic mode where you feel in control.

When you’re being creative with a subject, it’s important to choose the right exposure mode. Automation is there to help, but choosing the shutter speed or aperture is really important, so you make pictures that impress – not just another average automated photo.

Shooting macro in motion needs shutter speed and aperture to be defined; Manual with Auto ISO is ideal for this kind of situation (Image credit: Brian Worley)
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Brian is a freelance photographer and photo tutor, based in Oxfordshire. He has unrivaled EOS DSLR knowledge, after working for Canon for over 15 years, and is on hand to answer all the EOS and photographic queries in Canon-centric magazine PhotoPlus (opens in new tab).