Why Aperture Prority Is the Best Shooting Mode for Wedding Photography
“Real Pros Shoot Manual”
If I had a dime for every time I saw this information in an online photography forum, and I could have abandoned wedding photography long ago and bought my own personal island. It is a sad reality that photography forums aren’t an ideal platform to study photography. Most of the time, some strong personalities have an opinion, and then their acolytes will repeat it until the opposition is smashed. The forums are more focused on battles of egos rather than essential photography tips; however, there are some notable exceptions. The best real-world option is formulated by professional photographers and not by armchair photographers with a passion. I’ve shot using manual mode for long periods of time and am still using it when it is the most appropriate option; however, when it comes to wedding photography or anything where the events can happen quickly and quickly, I think aperture priority is the most effective choice.
My Experiment with Manual Mode.
Like many photographers in the beginning who began film photography, I had been taught how to shoot manually as well as additional light meters. I shot with the black-and-white film as well as slide film. The slide film is a small tolerance for exposure errors which is why analyzing light using an incident meter was essential. If you’re not familiar that the incident light gauge is a device that measures the light hitting an object and does not consider its tone, which means that it is always precise. In a perfect world, this is the ideal option, but the problem is that it’s not an ideal situation!
I’ve always been a fan of street photography. It is something I’ve been doing to enjoy for many years. However, usually, the lighting conditions aren’t optimal. This was, in many ways, my education to become an expert wedding photographer. The majority of the time, I shot manual mode, mainly because I was using the rangefinder (A Voightlander Bessa R) that only had the manual mode. It was great when the lighting was consistent, but it was a nightmare when it wasn’t. I would measure and set my camera for the sun and then fail to capture photos in shade or the reverse. In the case of days with no sunshine, the light would cause constant issues, and I had to continually check my light meter. In the end, I spent longer examining my light gauge than taking pictures, and I knew that something needed to be changed.
When I made the switch from digital to work with 35mm, I began to experiment using my technique to match the new gear I used. I discovered that the metering built into the camera was adequate. The majority of the time, I was able to let it be at its own pace while the exposures were spot on. I was experienced enough that I knew when they would not be, and in those cases, I would be able to override the camera. I discovered that the aperture priority mode made I was spending more time searching for images and less trying to figure out the camera’s settings.
Aperture Priority (or Av Mode) The Speed Of Auto Control of manual.
When I started photographing weddings, I realized that the aperture settings were one of the primary weapons to help me transform the chaos of weddings into beautiful photos. Aperture selection is one of the primary factors that affect the aesthetics of a photograph and can be used to reduce the noise of backgrounds which can ruin wedding pictures. Weddings happen fast and enough to require a lot of fiddling using your camera when the lighting is changing, so the use of some automation is an absolute requirement. Here are the main reasons I would prefer Aperture Priority over Manual in wedding settings.
It’s usually impossible to install an independent measurement device.
If you’re positioned behind your church for the duration of the service and the lighting changes, you’ll be unable to stroll up the aisle. You can only make a quick read off the bride’s facial expression and go back to your spot. If you’re using the built-in meter of your camera, there’s no point to set the camera manually as the camera will automatically set itself in precisely the same way. If I think the camera has done something wrong, I employ the exposure compensation. This way, if the lighting levels decrease, the exposure will be correct.
Aperture Priority allows me to have the most control over the appearance of an image.
The depth of field can have a significant impact on the appearance of your image. F2.8 will look different, then F11 will look very different. When the shutter is quick sufficient to stop motion, you will not be able to discern the difference between 1/2000th and 1/500th. Shutter Priority mode doesn’t offer the same aesthetic control, mainly because the aperture changes with changing light levels and alter the appearance of your photos.
Modern Camera Meters Are Good Enough (Most of the Time).
Modern camera meters can achieve the proper exposure 90% of the time, which means the absence of it could seem like an effect. Weddings can be a lot of work, so it is sensible to let technology assist you when needed.
I Can Concentrate on Image-Making, not Technicalities.
The less I need to think about technical issues as I am able to focus on the art of creativity. In the end, it’s what they are looking to hire me for. Therefore I try to avoid being absorbed with the technical aspects of things. I’ve come to create a simple method to work that I can be confident in, and I adhere to it.
Events happen quickly, and I have to capture these events.
I’m not a big fan of having the bride and groom repeat any part of the ceremony. You can detect fakes; therefore, I view every moment during a wedding as a single event. That means I need to be quick, flexible and respond to situations when they occur. I don’t have the time to be tinkering in my digital camera, and aperture priority is the ideal balance between controlling and automatization.
It’s more effective in dim lighting.
I often find myself on the edge of my low-light capabilities during weddings. When things get a bit complicated, I employ aperture priority to determine the elements that need to be in focus within the frame. I then alter the ISO to achieve a suitable shutter speed. So I’m always at the highest ISO I can work with.
In conclusion (and some caveats)
I’ve removed manual mode in rapid-paced situations. However, one reason I am able to successfully use aperture priority is that I’ve had enough experience to recognize the moment when my camera is likely to get caught out. If you’re an intermediate or novice who would like to make a commitment to your photography more excellent care, suggest spending a long period of time learning how to utilize the manual mode of your camera. Today, workshops and online tutorials attempt to convince you that photography is simple and that you don’t need to learn the technical aspects. There isn’t anything like a free lunch, and knowing photography from a fundamental level is a must in the art of making. Aperture Priority is a fantastic tool, but it’s not a substitute for a well-developed photographic brain. The true art of photography is knowing how to react in various situations and then deciding on the best option to meet the needs of the moment.