When is it ok to shoot in AUTO?

This might sounding like I’m contradicting myself.

Especially after what I’ve been talking about this past few days.

But there ARE times when it is ok to shoot in an automatic mode.

First though, let me just point out that my push to get you shooting in full manual mode applies mainly to landscape photography.

Because that’s what I shoot most and that’s what most of my material focuses on.

There are plenty of other types of photography where shooting in full manual mode just wouldn’t make sense (or at least, you’d be making life more difficult than it needs to be).

Like, if I was shooting natural light portraits outdoors or a sports game for example, then I’d be shooting in Aperture Priority because of the constantly changing light and the need to capture the perfect moment in an instant.

But with landscapes we have a bit more time to work out our exposure settings and adjust gradually as the light changes (or as we create bracketed exposures).

Now with that said…

When is it ok to shoot a landscape in an automatic mode?

Here’s when…

Wakatipu-Sunset

If you want a quick way to get a rough idea what your best exposure will be when you first turn up to a location and pick your shot, then you can take a test shot in Aperture mode.

Then make a mental note of the Aperture and ISO which you picked, and the corresponding shutter speed which your camera picked.

Then flip over into full manual mode and dial those same settings in.

You might have to adjust the shutter speed up or down a little if Aperture mode didn’t nail the exposure 100%.

But it is a great shortcut to finding a starting point which you can dial in your “best” exposures from. And if you need multiple exposures, then you can do this next.

Talk soon,
Steve

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About The Author

Steve Arnold

Steve is the founder of photographyuncovered.net, postprocessingmastery.com and is designer and developer of the popular ScratchCam app for iPhone.