Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Program shift

From: Foundations of Photography: Exposure

Video: Program shift

You've seen how you can use priority modes and manual mode to take control of your shutter speed and aperture settings, but program mode is awfully nice for everyday shooting. Let's face it: there are lot of times when you don't have any particular creative agenda in mind; you just want a well-exposed, sharp image, and that's what program mode is for. In program mode, your camera will always try and choose a shutter speed that will minimize the risk of hand-held shake and a middling aperture setting that will give you decent depth of field, but not go so deep that you get a softening of your image from diffraction artifacts.

Program shift

You've seen how you can use priority modes and manual mode to take control of your shutter speed and aperture settings, but program mode is awfully nice for everyday shooting. Let's face it: there are lot of times when you don't have any particular creative agenda in mind; you just want a well-exposed, sharp image, and that's what program mode is for. In program mode, your camera will always try and choose a shutter speed that will minimize the risk of hand-held shake and a middling aperture setting that will give you decent depth of field, but not go so deep that you get a softening of your image from diffraction artifacts.

If you just want to walk around, compose shots and shoot, then program mode is a boon. But some people get nervous about program mode. They think, "Oh! But what if I suddenly see a UFO, and I want to be sure I can get a sharp picture of it. I won't have time to switch to shutter priority mode if I am in program mode." Or maybe a scene unfolds on the street and you want to insure that you can shoot it with an extremely deep depth of field. If you are the type who doesn't want to give up a finer degree of manual control, I have good news. Most SLRs, and even a few advanced pointed shoots, have a feature called program shift, which gives you a nice level of manual control without ever leaving program mode.

Here is how it works. This should look pretty familiar to you now. This is our three cameras receding into the distance. The scene either is potentially needing a very deep depth of field, or I can take shallow depth of field control. Rather than switching to aperture priority mode, I am going to use program shift. So I am focusing on the middle camera, and I am metering, and you can see that I am coming in at 1/125th at f 4.5. Take a note, I am at ISO 1,600 because it's a little dark here in the studio. I am on a tripod. I could even shoot at ISO 100.

If I do that, my shutter speeds are going to go really slow, and that's going to take time to shoot. So I have cranked it up. But again, I am coming in at 125 at 4.5. 4.5 is pretty wide open. So if I hit the depth of field preview button, you see that my lens doesn't really close down to any significant degree. I have very shallow depth of field. So this camera is in focus. This one is out of focus. That one is out of focus. Let's say that I really want to shoot this with sharp focus. I could switch to aperture priority mode and change my aperture and all that kind of stuff, but I can actually do this from program mode in this camera.

Again, I meter. It comes in at 125th and at 4.5. Now there is a dial on this particular camera, and it will vary in its location depending on what type of camera you have. This is the program shift control. As I turn it, notice my shutter speed and aperture are both changing. Now you've learned about reciprocity. You've learned that for any given lighting situation, there are a big number of exposure aperture combinations that all yield the same level of illumination. All I am seeing here are all of the reciprocal combinations of shutter speed and aperture that yield this level of illumination.

So as I am turning this dial, you are not seeing a change in brightness, because these are all yielding the same level of brightness. So I am just going to dial up until I get a smaller aperture. I am going to go up here to f13, so that's going to be a pretty small aperture, which should give me deeper depth of field. Now when I hit the depth of field preview button, I've got focus here, I've got focus here, and of course my middle is focused. So that's an aperture change in program mode--actually it's both aperture and shutter speed. But I was able to dial in the combination that I wanted, to get the effect that I wanted.

What's great about this is I can work very quickly. If I meter the scene, and it comes in like this, it's nothing to quickly dial over here to a smaller aperture. Conversely, if I am out, and I am shooting a flower or something, and I am in program mode and decide I really want shallow depth of field, I can just spin it the other way and get a nice wide-open aperture. So this gives me the convenience of program mode shooting in that I can just shoot, and the times when I need some more manual control to achieve my creative vision, I can just turn my program shift dial. Check your manual to find out if your camera has a program shift control and how you operate it.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Foundations of Photography: Exposure
Foundations of Photography: Exposure

64 video lessons · 86170 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 8m 45s
    1. Welcome
      1m 57s
    2. What is exposure?
      4m 8s
    3. A word about camera brands
      2m 40s
  2. 9m 31s
    1. What is a camera?
      2m 52s
    2. The shutter
      3m 53s
    3. The aperture
      1m 33s
    4. Exposure defined
      1m 13s
  3. 13m 50s
    1. Modes
      2m 7s
    2. Pressing the shutter button
      2m 54s
    3. Autofocus
      5m 22s
    4. Light metering
      2m 3s
    5. White balance
      1m 24s
  4. 29m 26s
    1. Shooting sharp images
      1m 58s
    2. Noting shutter speed
      4m 3s
    3. Taking control of shutter speed
      1m 30s
    4. Stop defined
      2m 50s
    5. Shutter priority mode
      4m 34s
    6. Exercise: Shutter speed
      40s
    7. Reciprocity
      3m 13s
    8. Controlling motion
      7m 8s
    9. Shutter speed increments
      2m 21s
    10. Exercise: Go work with shutter speed
      1m 9s
  5. 26m 2s
    1. Depth of field
      1m 53s
    2. How aperture is measured
      2m 42s
    3. Aperture priority mode
      4m 57s
    4. Lens speed
      53s
    5. Shooting deep depth of field
      3m 53s
    6. Shooting shallow depth of field
      2m 50s
    7. The depth-of-field preview button
      4m 24s
    8. How shallow should you be?
      2m 47s
    9. Exercise: Go work with aperture
      1m 43s
  6. 16m 26s
    1. ISO: The third exposure parameter
      6m 27s
    2. Assessing your camera's high ISO
      5m 32s
    3. Shooting in low light
      3m 32s
    4. Exercise: Shooting in low light
      55s
  7. 14m 30s
    1. White balance controls
      5m 37s
    2. Adjusting white balance manually
      4m 25s
    3. Shooting raw
      4m 28s
  8. 6m 3s
    1. How light meters work
      1m 47s
    2. Why are there different modes?
      4m 16s
  9. 33m 58s
    1. Exposure compensation
      4m 0s
    2. Intentional overexposure
      2m 40s
    3. Intentional underexposure
      1m 42s
    4. Controlling tone
      2m 31s
    5. The histogram
      10m 4s
    6. Real-world histograms
      5m 49s
    7. Tone and color
      2m 16s
    8. Auto exposure bracketing
      3m 57s
    9. Exercise: Go work with exposure compensation
      59s
  10. 12m 56s
    1. Dynamic range
      2m 24s
    2. Exposing for highlights
      4m 15s
    3. Fill flash
      3m 11s
    4. Three solutions to the same problem
      3m 6s
  11. 12m 26s
    1. Manual mode
      2m 6s
    2. Manual mode and light meters
      4m 52s
    3. Manual exposure exercise
      5m 28s
  12. 12m 1s
    1. Custom modes and A-DEP
      1m 39s
    2. Program shift
      3m 52s
    3. Exposure compensation with program shift
      1m 58s
    4. An exercise in reciprocity
      53s
    5. Scene modes and in-camera processing
      3m 39s
  13. 8m 15s
    1. Shooting with post production in mind
      3m 45s
    2. Exposure strategy
      3m 51s
    3. Goodbye
      39s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Foundations of Photography: Exposure.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.