Aperture priority and other shooting modes.
Here’s a quick breakdown of camera settings found on the mode dial of most digital cameras.
Aperture priority: In this camera mode, the photographer selects an aperture, and the camera chooses an appropriate shutter speed based on the available light.
Shutter priority mode: The opposite of aperture priority, the photographer sets the shutter priority mode at a certain speed and the camera autoselects a good aperture setting.
Program mode: Sometimes called auto mode, when the photographer selects program mode the camera autoselects both aperture and shutter speed.
Manual mode: The photographer is responsible for adjusting both the aperture and shutter speed in this mode.
A learning tool for correct exposure.
Learning when to use a small aperture instead of a wider aperture can require trial and error for beginners. Aperture priority can help you through some of the struggle by automatically finding the right adjustments, which can be a great way to understand the way that aperture interacts with other camera settings.
“For me, aperture priority was a stepping stone toward learning manual mode,” photographer Ivy Chen recalls. “I was able to learn what aperture I preferred in certain situations and understand what aperture looked better in a portrait versus landscape photography.” After taking photos with aperture priority, you can adjust them based on the amount of light you’re shooting in or check the settings later to recreate them on future shoots.