Digital or film?
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Photography and the web
Cameras come in all sizes and shapes, with some offering 'point and shoot' exposure, while others come stuffed full of baffling controls and techno-babbery that can terrify new users.
While there's not enough space here to explain the relationship between aperture and shutter speeds, hopefully this brief jargon guide will at least help you understand what the exposure modes mean.
Automatic: works out all the exposure details for you, offering point and click simplicity but with no real control over exposure. This can lead to disappointing results.
Aperture priority: lets you control the aperture while setting the shutter speed automatically. This is great for portraits where you want just the face in focus or for landscapes where you want great depth of field.
Shutter priority: you set the shutter speed for 'freezing the action' at sports events or producing arty motion blur effects. Some digital cameras aren't that good at capturing action due to the delay between pressing the shutter release and the picture being taken, while some can take an age to 'warm up'.
Manual: gives you full control over aperture and shutter speed with potentially superb results - or utterly crap ones if you get it wrong.
Check out our comprehensive listing of photo tutorial sites
Article © Mike Slocombe 2001
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