Camera Shooting Modes Questions & Answers


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I just finished the third section of the book titled Digital Photography Complete Course and made it to the review questions and answers page. I thought I'd ask the questions here and then give my own answers to them. The book's answers consist of one word, so I'll elaborate much more down below. If you'd like further explanation on anything you see here, please ask. I'd be happy to help.

Q. What does Av stand for?

A. Aperture priority. You will find the Av letters on Canon cameras and just A on Nikon cameras, with different variations for different makes and models. This mode is usually set by turning dial on the top of the camera.

Q. What does exposure compensation give you?

A. It gives you the ability to increase or decrease your camera's exposure with the turn of a dial. While you can't choose which point in the exposure triangle (aperture, shutter speed, ISO) will be altered to achieve your goal, it will give you a fast and flexible method for responding to various situations. Remember, this feature is available in automatic shooting modes.

Q. Can you control the depth of field when using Program mode?

A. Yes you can. Program mode offers the ability to change aperture size, shutter speed, and ISO.

Q. If you want to control the depth of field in your pictures, which mode is the best?

A. Aperture Priority mode controls depth of field. Remember though, while increasing and decreasing the size of your lens's aperture does add or remove blur from the foreground and background of your photos, so does distance between your camera and the subject itself. The closer you are to the subject, the more blur will be introduced (shallow depth of field). The farther you are away, the less blur (deep depth of field). All other things being equal, a smaller aperture will result in a deeper depth of field (less blur) and a larger aperture will result in a more shallow depth of field (more blur).

Q. What mode should you use to capture an athlete in action?

A. You should use Sports Mode because it's geared to increase the shutter speed, which will restrict motion blur in your photos.

Q. What does the flower symbol mean?

A. Close-up or Macro mode. With these modes, the camera sets itself to slow down the shutter speed and open up the aperture. The result will be a photo with a more shallow depth of field, but exposed well due to more light coming through the lens because of a larger aperture.

Q. What mode is best to photograph someone at night?

A. Using Night mode is best for night photography, although, only select cameras offer this mode. Night mode opens the aperture wide and fills the area with light by using the flash. If you know your settings, you can also use Program mode.

Q. What will you gain from using the various modes on your camera?

A. You'll gain more creative control than using Auto mode alone. Each mode is geared towards allowing you to make more or fewer setting adjustments on your own. By using the various modes, you can tell the camera what type of situation you're currently in and allow it to help you by making various adjustments.

Q. In Sports mode, what will the camera give priority to?

A. Sports mode is all about capturing a scene and reducing motion blur, so the priority will be on making the shutter speed faster, while compensating for the reduction of light by enlarging the aperture and increasing the ISO value.

Q. Using Shutter Priority mode will give you control of what?

A. Shutter Priority mode allows the user to adjust the speed of the shutter. On Canon cameras, Shutter Priority mode is marked with Tv.

Q. Which mode should you select if you want a shallow depth of field for a portrait?

A. You should use Aperture Priority mode to control the depth of field in a portrait. If you'd like the depth of field to be shallow, increase the size of the aperture (smaller number, such as f/1.2 and f/2 as opposed to f/16 and f/22).

Q. How would you stop a subject from being silhouetted against a brightly lit background?

A. In cases like these, the camera will want to reduce its exposure due to so much light in the scene, which will result in your subject appearing as a silhouette. To correct the exposure problem, use your exposure compensation feature to increase the exposure.

Q. An exposure setting of 1/1000th second with an aperture of f/4 is the equivalent of what?

A. The answer is 1/125th second at f/11. For each "stop" of an exposure setting, you either half or double the amount of light the camera sensor absorbs, so by moving 1/1000th of a second for shutter speed to 1/125th of a second, you're slowing the shutter speed by three stops. To compensate for this, you'd need to close (reduce the size of) the aperture by three stops as well, which equals f/11. Mind you, these settings depend on your camera and lens. There may be more or fewer options available to you and your camera. Please see graphic down below.

Q. What kind of shutter speed would you choose if you wanted to freeze the action?

A. A fast one, depending on how fast the action is. The faster the action, the faster the necessary shutter speed. Think of a shutter as an eyelid. The faster you blink, the less movement you see.

Q. In the automatic and semi-automatic modes, what is the feature that gives you extra control over your exposure?

A. This would be the exposure compensation feature. This feature overrides your camera's initial settings, giving you want you need to properly expose your images.