Most of the people I come across in the field seem to be using Aperture priority.
So is that an issue?
No not really, not unless you do not know why you are on Aperture Priority. A lot of people end up being on Aperture priority not because they want to control the DoF, no, they end up being on Aperture priority and setting up a maximum aperture value always, because they are using this mode because
- Someone said so
- Want the DoF as shallow as possible always
- Want a fast shutter speed, always
Take a look at the following image.
I was on a wide open aperture and since the bird was very close I ended up blurring the birds backside. Not what I wanted, I made a mistake. A mistake that can be very easily corrected in the field by stopping down on the aperture a little. Using an aperture of around f/8 or f/11 would have saved the day for me. Remember, bigger the aperture number, bigger the DoF in general.
Whats surprising is, a lot of people are just ignorant to this and are stuck with Aperture priority without any logical reason. I mean its fine using it as long as you know how to control it and when to use what aperture. Do not use it just because the guy sitting besides you does so. Here is a simple guide for what apertures do to the Depth of Focus in a photograph. Save the Image in your mobile if need be for handy reference
Here are a few typical scenarios that you will find yourselves in, lets see what you make of them
Scenario 1 : You are shooting a Portrait image of a friend of yours, or maybe of a tiger where you will have just the face in the image. It is a front-lit subject so exposure is not a big problem. How will you click? What Mode will you use? and most importantly ‘WHY’ did you chose the mode. As far as the aperture is concerned a very close subject with significant depth and a very wide aperture will result in part of the face going out of focus.
Scenario 2 : You are shooting a tiger walking down the road and you want to ensure that the head and tail both are in focus. Will it matter if you are on f/4 or f/11? Remember, the tiger is almost 6 foot in length even if we ignore the tail so at f/4 there is a high possibility that the tigers face will be in focus (Assuming the focus point is on the face) and the back part of the body will be out-of focus
Now I know that these questions can have many answers with no perfect answer but all that I am attempting here is to try and get you thinking. Go out there and play with the aperture. Try out the same shots with different aperture values and see how it really affects your final output. Don’t just use it as an Auto Mode!!