How to Move from Auto to Aperture Mode (for Beginners)

by SomeGirl on January 10, 2012 · 6 comments

Well, I told you last week that after reading today’s post you would “never shoot in auto again!” What I ought to have said is that you’ll never shoot in auto again (on a bright, sunny day).

As I took 3 tries to get all of the information in one video post, I realized there’s just way too much to share!

Today’s post is written and recorded with those of you who have never ventured out of the comfort zone of the Auto setting on your DSLR. If you are comfortable with Aperture mode or manual, this post/video is not going to benefit you. (But I’ll make sure to share some other tips you will hopefully find helpful in upcoming Photography Wednesdays.)

If you’re comfortable with aperture mode, but not with manual, this recent post is for you: A Very Beginner’s Guide to Manual Mode in Low Light Settings

For my friends who don’t have DSLRs, I’ll try to make next week’s post a fun composition, technique, or point and shoot post just for you!

Now, without further ado… here is today’s video post that will help you move off of Auto and onto Aperture Mode:

To sum the video tutorial up in a few words:

Go outside on a bright sunny day.

Move your dial to AV on a Canon, A on a Nikon.

Set your ISO to 100.

And start playing around with your aperture by turning the dial near your shutter release.

The lower your aperture (also called f-stop – the number with an f in front of it: f4.0), the more blur you’ll have in the background. The higher the aperture the more you’ll have in focus in your picture.

As long as it’s sunny outside you’ll never have to worry about anything other than how blurred or in focus you want your background to be.

And you’ll never shoot in auto again (on a bright sunny day). :)

(Also on the video were a couple of tips on how to avoid camera shake blur, how to choose ISO, and how to read your shutter speed.)


Happy shooting!

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Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies

Great explanations! I have read through many books and websites, but something clicked watching this video. I appreciate you taking the time to share this!

Ms. Kathleen

Very helpful indeed!

Betsy at Zen Mama

This is great! You’re very good on film! I’ve been wanting the try the background blur. I’ll try it with my husband’s camera. I can’t seem to find it on mine which isn’t a DSLR.
Thanks, Michelle!


What?!? ;) I’m so far behind in the photography world. Love your countertops though! :)


Thank you, this is exactly what I am looking for even though I have a point and shoot camera that only goes from f/3.5 to f/8.0.

Mary Smith

Thank you! Very easy to follow.

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