Hi and welcome back.

I want to address a few questions that came up at the last Meetup.

Mark asked which mode I keep my camera in at all times.  When I answered, “Program Automatic,” he was a bit taken aback.  I said that modern cameras are so good at exposure that keeping my camera in Program allowed me to retain more keepers when out in the field or on a Photowalk.  I can adjust the exposure compensation up or down if needed, but Program allows me the ability to raise my camera to my eye and just work almost without thinking.

This doesn’t mean I use Program all the time, this is the default mode I keep it in.  When I shoot with strobes or off-camera flash I use Manual.  When shooting sports, I use Shutter priority.  When doing natural light work, I usually use Aperture priority.  I use all the modes, but I keep my camera in Program so I never lose the shot.

Stephanie asked about how I approach a job.  It’s simple:

  1. As soon as I enter the work area, I look for the light.  Is it hard, soft, am I adding flash, strobe, where am I going to place my reflectors, am I putting a sheet over the window to soften the light?  It is all about light.
  2. Where am I going to shoot to take advantage of the location and what it has to offer?
  3. What’s my lens choice.  Wide, mid-range, or telephoto.  Sometimes I use a combination of each.  Sometimes I stick with one choice over another.  I don’t view one lens as more perfect than another; it’s a choice based on the conditions.  I’ve shot portraits with my 14-24 and my 70-200.  Whatever does the job.
  4. The next choice is exposure.  What’s my aperture, my shutter speed.  Am I chasing kids, or am I after shallow depth of field portraits.  Is it a family at f/11 or a baby at f/4?
  5. ISO now plays a part.  Can I get a good exposure with my current ISO.  Do I have to raise it, lower it, change it at all.

These are the things that I immediately look for and think about when out shooting, either for pleasure or for work.  Figure out a workflow that can work for you and stick to it.  Looking for the light should be first on your list.

That’s it for now.  Till next time, happy shooting.