Shooting in LOG or a very neutral setting like this is going to allow your camera to capture the most information from your surroundings. You’ll capture the darkest blacks, the whitest whites, and all the shadows and colors in between. This will allow you the most freedom to edit the colors and exposure correctly in post production. I’ll show you exactly how once we start getting into our editing process.
7 | Program Modes
What are program modes?
Here’s another one that may vary a bit depending on your camera, but they all have something similar so it should still apply. These are all the little options that appear on the top left dial of your camera (on Canon anyway). First of all, I want you to go ahead and never shoot in any of the little icon modes. You may as well shoot in auto mode and lose all control of your own creative choices with these.
However, there are some very helpful ‘Creative Modes’ that I’m going to explain.
What are creative modes?
The Creative Modes on your camera are Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual Mode. On most cameras, they are marked P (program), A (aperture priority), S (shutter priority), and M (manual mode).
Canon cameras will show “P, Av, Tv, M” for the same exact modes. “Av” is Canon's version of Aperture Priority, and “Tv” is Canon's version of Shutter Priority.
If you are just becoming familiar with how your camera operates and how to shoot in manual mode, then these are about to be your best friend. I am really only concerned with two of them and here they are in detail:
Ok, here’s my favorite setting of all time. Honestly, it makes things so easy.
Basically what this setting does is it allows you to be in control of your aperture setting and then it automatically sets your shutter speed and ISO for you.
I like to start with this mode and then if I notice that my shutter speed is too slow or my ISO too high, then I will hop into manual made and adjust accordingly.
If you are just learning, start here. Shoot in aperture priority for the next month. Only alter your aperture setting and let your camera do the rest. Notice what happens to your footage when you shoot in f2.8 or f4 versus f22. How did your depth of field change? Did you notice any grain or a slow shutter speed when you shot at f22?
Experiment in this mode until you start to feel more comfortable.
How are we feeling? You’ve made it to the end of the list. Congratulations! Seriously, that is a lot of information to take in. Manual mode is a bit obvious - you have complete control of your camera settings. Like I said in the beginning, after lots of practice, especially in aperture mode, start working your way into manual mode.
Your homework for this lesson is to pick one subject that will be easy to film for the next few days. It could be a child, an animal, or anything else that’s easily accessible for you to film. Start with shooting in Aperture Priority mode on your camera. Play around with your f-stop and see how it changes the footage. Keep playing with those settings and pay attention to what happens.
Now try manual mode. If your image is too dark, think through which setting you can change to make it brighter (aperture, shutter speed, or ISO?). Keep doing this.
I’m not gonna lie, it takes time and practice. Don’t give up. Keep doing it. I’m telling you, it will become like second nature, you just have to give it time.
Practice, practice, practice.
I know I keep saying it, but it’s only because it’s true. The only way to become a master of manual mode is by practicing. Let yourself experiment and make mistakes. That’s the only way to learn. And trust me, you’ll get there.
I’m here for questions, so leave yours in the comments below. Have fun and happy shooting!
In our next lesson we’ll dive into the top 10 easy and most creative filming techniques for getting great shots with any camera.