How to Use Aperture Priority Mode

If you are thinking of leaping from Auto Mode to Manual, but still do not want to mess around with all the settings, Aperture Priority Mode is the way to go. It will give you the control of Manual Mode while still being easier to handle. Not to oversell it, but beginners, as well as professionals, use this mode to save their time. Let us now see how to use Aperture Priority Mode and learn more about it.

Understanding Priority Modes

Before we move onwards, it is important to understand what priority modes are. As you know, in Auto Mode, the camera handles all of the adjustments, it is a hassle-free process. On the contrary, you have to take care of all the settings in Manual Mode. This process takes time. There is another option, called Priority Modes. It gives you control over the individual aspects, just like the Manual Mode. However, the camera also takes care of a few settings for you, just like the Auto Mode. The best thing is that you can prioritize which setting you want to control. There are two priority modes, Shutter and Aperture. In this guide, we will be discussing the second one.

What is Aperture Priority Mode?

Again, before we learn how to use aperture priority mode, it is equally important to understand what it is. The basic function of priority modes is to help you easily adjust the exposure of the image. As you know, three aspects make up the exposure, shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. It is not only hard to adjust all of these settings individually, but it also takes time. This is where Aperture Priority Mode comes in. As the name suggests, it lets us control the Aperture and ISO of the camera. Whereas, the Shutter Speed is controlled by the camera. Aperture also called an f-stop, is the lens opening that controls the amount of light getting in your camera. As you can guess, it is responsible for that dreamy bokeh and blurred background pictures. If the number is smaller, such as f/1.4, then the opening will be bigger and more light will come in, and vice versa. A smaller aperture is good for low-light scenarios as well as for blurring the background. Whereas, a larger aperture is used to capture the details of the background.
How to Use Aperture Priority Mode - DSLR camera

Photo edited in Lightroom.

How to use Aperture Priority Mode?

Step 1:

Look for a symbol for this mode, which can be either A or Av. In most cameras, you can find it on the mode dial. Just turn that dial and you are ready to go.

Step 2:

In the second step, you need in order to adjust the ISO. You can either set it manually or put it on Auto as well. If you are using a smaller aperture or the camera has set a fast shutter speed, then it would be better to increase the ISO. It will compensate for the low light entering into the camera. Just keep in mind that a high ISO can increase the grain in your images.

Step 3:

This is the most crucial step while learning how to use Aperture Priority Mode. In this step, you need to adjust the Aperture of the camera. Keep the points that we discussed about Aperture in mind while doing this step. You will see that as you change the value of Aperture, the camera will automatically adjust Shutter Speed.

Step 4:

Lastly, you have to experiment with the aperture. Basically, the reason behind this is that there is no hard and fast rule for adjusting. It just depends on the scenario that you are working with. Take a few shots with different apertures to figure out the look that you want.

Girl using a camera - How to Use Aperture Priority Mode

When to Use Aperture Priority Mode?

Now that you know how to use Aperture Priority Mode, the next question is when to use it. It is not limited to a few scenarios but let us discuss some of them in which it might be the best choice. First of all, if you want to focus on your subject and make them stand out, such as in Portrait Photography , this mode will be perfect. If you want to experiment with the Depth of Field, then this mode will help you do it. The Depth of Field becomes inconsistent because of the constant changes in lighting outdoors. But using this mode with Auto-ISO can help you achieve that. Lastly, you might not want to use Aperture Priority Mode in low-light conditions and when you have to take long-exposure photographs. Shutter Priority Mode will be better in these cases.

Conclusion - How to Use Aperture Priority Mode

To sum it all up, learning how to use Aperture Priority Mode will help you save time as well as provide you control over the exposure of the image without any hassle. This is not only perfect for beginners, but also for pros who want to streamline their process.

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