Switch to Program Exposure Mode for Better Quick Shots

If you are worried about getting bad photos if you switch off of Auto exposure mode, set your mind at ease. You can start to take some control over making better pictures by beginning with Program (P) exposure mode. This setting is mostly automatic, but it allows you to make two changes which can improve your quick grab shots.

Alpaca wool at Black Wolf Ranch, Montana
1/125 second, f/4, ISO 640, 24-105mm lens

First, Program mode does not fire the flash unless you deliberately turn it on. This frequently results in more attractive pictures with fewer dark shadows and overly bright highlights, especially indoors.

Second, Program mode lets you select a higher ISO setting to use in dim light instead of relying on the flash. Raising the ISO from a low setting like 100 to a high setting like 800 helps the camera "see in the dark".

The picture above was made hand-held in a dimly lit room where dyed wool was stored. Raising the ISO to 640 helped the camera see in the dark. The result is a sharp photo with good color, detail and brightness, very different from how it would look "flashed".

Learn about more things you can do to make better pictures in Getting to Know Your Digital SLR Camera on Saturday, May 18, 2019, in Missoula, Montana. Click here to register.