Getting off auto without ruining all your shots

So, you’ve spent your hard earned cash on a brand spanking new D-SLR or one of the very popular mirrorless cameras on the market, put in the battery, the memory card, the lens, pushed the dial to green auto, taken the lens cap off, pointed at something you want a picture of, and pressed the trigger.

And on occasion, you get the result you want. And you go on the internet and try to learn a bit about cameras, and everyone tells you to get off auto. So you go to your camera, and turn it to M for manual, and all your shots turn out rubbish, and you quickly put it back onto auto and hope for the best, still not getting what you want, but accepting the good shots that you luckily get.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because a lot of people go through it. So I wanted to share what I think is the easiest way to get off auto – aperture priority / auto ISO.

To shoot in aperture priority / auto ISO, you need to turn the dial on the top of your camera to A or Av, depending on which brand of camera you’ve bought. You then need to press the ISO button or go into the menus and switch the ISO to auto. The only setting you need to set now is the aperture, and you can move that up and down with the wheel on your camera.

Still with me?

Right so say you want a picture of a landscape – you want all back to front sharp focus so turn your aperture to a high number like 20. If you need a sharp image but don’t have long distances to deal with, go to 11 or 8. If you want one thing in focus in the picture, go for the low numbers, ideally below 4.

These settings will automatically adjust your ISO so the shutter speed is fast enough to avoid camera blur. All this should be enough to take some control over the images you’re taking.

If you try this, post in the comments and let me know how you get on!

Happy shooting!

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