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5 Settings Every Photographer Should Know

5 DSLR Features You Must Know

1. Continuous Burst Mode

continuous burst mode
photo credit: Scott Hudson *

Have you ever tried the continuous burst mode on your digital SLR? Try it you are going to love it. If you shoot portraits for a living, you can never take a single shot.

Whether it is because your model moved at the very last fraction of a second, blinked or made a wrong facial expression a majority of the time you will need to click the shutter button at least twice. If you are shooting wildlife or sports, you need to be able to shoot as many frames as you can so that you get at least one that is good.

2. ISO

iso number
photo credit: Indigo Skies Photography

Modern digital SLRs are a joy to shoot with. Not because they have huge resolution (some such as the D800 which you can actually print billboards out of the shots) but because they are capable of shooting in the craziest of ISOs.

I am not a big fan or the flash so it gives me pleasure to see that these cameras can shoot at ISO 6400 or ISO 12800 and still get usable exposures. Plus you can always remove much of the noise in Photoshop.

3. Focus Mode

choosing the right focus mode
photo credit: elkenoda

Focus mode is often an unknown quantity so far as amateur photographers are concerned. If you have just bought DSLR and is wondering what the heck the Single-shot, Continuous Servo and Auto Servo focus modes are, I suggest that you continue reading this.

If your subject is moving about, what focusing mode should you be using? If you say continuous servo I would say it depends. Check the way they are moving. If they are moving in a straight line parallel to you, use the Single-servo mode.

The thing about focusing is that it takes into consideration the distance between the camera and the subject. If the subject is moving parallel to you it is in the same plane of focus. However, if the subject is moving back and forth and side-ways such as what soccer players do, use the Continuous Servo mode.

4. Exposure Compensation

exposure compensation
photo credit: cindy47452

Works when you know that you know better than the camera. The easiest and fastest way to shoot pictures the way you want without the nagging metering system telling you what to do.

If you are shooting in dark use the exposure compensation to go negative so that you can make the picture the way you look at it with your naked eyes.

Use positive exposure compensation when you are shooting in snow so that the camera does not make it underexposed and in effect gray.

5. Aperture Priority

aperture priority
photo credit: mugley

There are photographers who would keep their camera on the aperture priority more than 80% of the time. They do this because aperture value is closely linked with Depth of Field, an important aspect of any type of photography.

Be it landscape, nature, portraiture, sports or architecture you need to be able to control the Depth of Field. In order to blur out uninteresting elements in the background you need to open up the aperture wide enough.

If you are shooting landscape photography you need a smaller aperture so that you can keep as much of the background sharp as possible and so on.

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