Camera Mode Challenges

  • Thread starter LukeLewis
  • Start date


Aug 3, 2020
  • #1
When you begin learning about photography and how your camera works, you'll need to consistently challenge yourself. Do this for a few reasons. First, you'll want to learn each and every available function of your camera and what it does. The reason for this is. in order to handle lighting, exposure, and setting situations, you'll need to know what tools are available to you. If you never learn about what your camera has to offer, you'll never take full advantage of the situation. It's usually the weird and wild circumstances that make for the best photos, so this is important.

Second, you'll need to stay fresh and in control of your camera. By placing yourself in unique situations, you'll learn a lot about your camera and photography in general. By consistently doing this, it'll be unlikely you'll forget it. There's a reason professional photographers take such wonderful photos; repetition and exposure. They're out in the field a lot more than you and I are and they find themselves in remarkable spots. That's just the way it is when you do something like this for a living.

In today's post, I offer you a few challenges. Hopefully you'll take me up on the offer and you'll head out with camera in hand to see what you can do. Don't worry, I'll give you a few tips for how to get the job done down below. If you do happen to take me up on the offer, please post your photos below to show off a bit. We'll praise and critique.

The goal is to choose a few camera modes to work with and to learn them like the back of your hand. By doing so, your photography will improve by leaps and bounds.

Night Portrait Mode

When you use this mode, your camera will account for the lighting in your scene and set its exposure accordingly. It'll know that you'll be using the flash, so when it meters the scene, the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO will be set as to not over or under expose the image. When taking advantage of this mode, it's best to position your subject someplace where there's already some existing lighting.

To complete this challenge, set your camera to Night mode, Night Portrait mode, or whichever mode your brand offers that takes photos at night. Then, find some lights and make sure those lights are in the background of (or behind) your subject. Turn your flash on and take your shot. When you take your photo, the flash shouldn't overwhelm your subject. Your image should be well exposed and balanced. Take a look at these examples.



In the first photo, it's obvious what the subject is, but in the second, it's not so obvious. In the second shot, the snowflakes are the subject, which wouldn't have been illuminated at all if the flash wasn't used.

Program Mode

I absolutely love Program mode for practicing and learning about both my camera and the photography triangle. While this mode does set the shutter speed and aperture automatically, it allows you to override both of these settings to obtain the look you're going for. It's the best mode for learning, so I encourage you to take full advantage of it.

To complete this challenge, set your camera to Program mode (P) and then start taking photos of random things. I personally prefer to practice with aperture size alterations because it's the easiest setting to explore. I can sit and experiment with camera/subject distance and aperture size to alter the bokeh in my images. I recommend you begin with this setting. Use your camera's dial to enlarge and shrink the lens's aperture and notice the effect the changes have on foreground and background blur. In the photos below, take a look at the blur beyond the subjects. By changing the camera's distance from the subject as well as changing the aperture settings, the blur can either become more pronounced or diminished. Closer or farther away from the subject.




I also encourage you to experiment with shutter speed. Find yourself a nice place to sit and watch things move. If could be wind on some branches or cars driving down the road. Set the shutter speed so it's faster and slower. Notice it's effect on the motion blur or lack thereof in your photos.

Exposure Compensation

This challenge is easy and a lot of fun. Exposure compensation is very powerful and with only a push of a button and a turn of a dial, you can completely alter the exposure of your image. If you aren't familiar with this feature, I suggest you read the post that covers exposure compensation.

To complete this challenge, find yourself a subject and place that subject between yourself and something bright. It could be a person standing between you and the sun on a bright day, a vase on a table between you and a light in your house, or a pet sunning itself on a windowsill at high noon. It doesn't matter what you choose, as long as the part of the subject that's facing you is darker than it should be. When you point your camera at the subject and take the photo, that dark face should end up even darker. To counter this, use your exposure compensation to brighten your subject up. Increase your exposure first by one stop and then by two and three. Your results should be dramatic.

Again, if you complete any of these challenges, I hope you'll post your photos below so we can see how you did. When you do, please give us some background so we can understand the conditions in which you shot. Thanks!
Camera Mode Challenges was posted on 03-08-2021 by LukeLewis in the Photography Forum forum.

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