January 22, 2011

Bonus - "What's the difference between 'Auto' and 'P' anyway?

I admit it, I actually had to look up the answer to this question.

When I mentioned the other day that you should move from “Auto” to “P” for creative control, I was trying to improve your confidence, rather than your shooting. See, if you’re shooting on “P,” you’ll automatically feel like a more accomplished photographer, and confidence is a big part of making great memories. Look at me – I’m using a setting that is more advanced – even if it feels like it does exactly the same thing as “Auto” does.

In a way, “P” (it stands for Program) does work just like “Auto.” You crank the knob, you turn on your camera, you stab at the shutter and you get your picture.

But there is a difference.

When you shoot on “P,” you have the option to change some of the other settings on your camera – like the white balance, the amount of flash you’re using or the type of file you want to shoot. Think of “P” as a semi-automatic setting. It’ll do all the work for you if you want, or it’ll allow you to experiment jussssst enough to keep you out of trouble.
We’ll be talking about the features you can use in “P” in upcoming posts, but for now get out there and take a bunch of shots on the “P” setting. Feeling a little more adventurous? Try out different settings on your “white balance” to see what sort of weird colours you can get. Don’t worry what it means or what happens when you press the shutter, just be surprised and amazed by what that little machine can do.

Next up: the one place in your house that will make a gigantic difference to all your photos.

Got a question? Got a photo? Post it here in the comments.

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