Principles of working with the camera, the main modes that every photographer needs: aperture priority and depth of field
Principles of working with the camera, the main modes that every photographer needs: aperture priority and depth of field

The DSLR has many modes that you need to learn, understand how they work in order to create really high-quality photographs.

All the settings available in the camera can be learned by trial and error. Only it will take much longer than if you immediately read about the methods of using the modes and their purpose.

What is called depth of field in photography, and what is its purpose?

First of all, you should understand that the camera focuses on a certain distance. At the same time, what is beyond its capabilities remains blurred. This way, all objects that are the same distance as the subject will be as sharp as the subject.

If you look at any photo, it immediately becomes clear that there are no clear boundaries when a clear picture loses its sharpness. The transition is usually smooth and imperceptible.

The photo shows aperture-priority shooting.

Aperture priority shooting mode

Clear usuallythe objects on which the camera is focused, as well as the nearest objects (while all those that are further away) are blurred. Depth of field depends on several factors:

  • range to the point where the camera is focused;
  • focal length of the camera itself;
  • open aperture.

Let's take a closer look at each case.

The concept of aperture priority mode, and for what purpose is it used?

To understand what aperture priority mode is in a camera, you should first know that it is denoted by the abbreviations A and Ay, which are located in the camera's menu. This allows you to change the aperture width. The aperture width determines how much sunlight enters the frame. The wider it is open, the more light gets in (and vice versa). Automation will choose which shutter speed to use. This is what aperture priority is in a camera.

This mode is usually used where fast shooting is required. For example, when shooting a reportage, sports, air shows, etc. When the subject to be photographed is in motion, there is no time to fiddle with the settings for a long time, because this way you can miss a really interesting and important shot. Therefore, it is worth understanding how to use aperture priority, because working with this mode, you need to manipulate with just one button, which takes only milliseconds.

Also, this mode can be used while traveling, without worrying about lighting, the camera itself will do it for you, you just need tosome aperture manipulation.

The photo below shows an aperture setting of f/11.

Aperture setting f/11

The background will also depend on this mode. When the aperture is open, the background is blurred, focusing on a particular figure in the photo. When you close the aperture, all objects and surroundings in the photo become sharp and clear.

f / 11 / 1/400 sec / ISO 400 - 1

The two photos (above and below) show examples of f / 11 / 1 / 400 sec / ISO 400 aperture settings. The first is a mountain landscape, with the focus on the rocks (they are planned to be photographed). On the second - the result.

f/11/1/400 sec/ISO 400-2

Thus, an open aperture is usually used to create portrait photos, while a closed one is used to shoot landscapes. It should also be remembered that with a closed aperture, the shutter speed is longer. At this point, the camera should be held more evenly, without twitching, but it is better to use a tripod.

Shooting objects in motion

Aperture Priority allows you to "freeze" the subject or make it more blurry. The thing is that when the diaphragm is in the open position, more light enters it. This allows you to take high-quality pictures even in cloudy weather. The shutter speed becomes much faster, which means that you can capture a moving object without blurring it.

An example of shooting moving objects is shown in the photo below.

moving objects

But there is also a need to blur the background of a photo. For example, if you need to focus on a certain person in the crowd, and at the same time there is very little light in the shooting location. In this situation, you should close the aperture by increasing the shutter speed. Thus, by following the selected moving object, we can take a photo where the background surrounding the object will be blurred, but it will remain clear.

Thus, without manipulating the aperture mode, the photo will not be bright and expressive enough.

Lighting and iris

Aperture priority mode should also be selected depending on the lighting conditions. For example, if you have to photograph in a dimly lit room, it is better to make it more open so that the picture is clearer. And with an aperture of f/2.8 or f/3.5, it's possible to shoot in darker environments, producing amazing, high-quality images.

This is what shooting at night looks like.

Aperture in illumination


An example would be shooting in a theater or concert hall. With a good lens capable of capturing distant objects, you can open the aperture to let in more light, and make a great shot without distracting the actors or musicians from their work, flickering in front of your eyes, as photographers with less quality equipment do.

For example, filming in the auditorium is shown in the photo below. Aperture f/2, 8 was used.

Filming in the auditorium

In this scenario, the picture will be sharp and clear, allowing you to see everything you need without any extra effort.


So by learning aperture priority, understanding what it affects in a shot, and using it at the right time, you can create amazing, attention-grabbing shots.

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