You are here

Get With the Program

Get With the Program
by Gary Woods

For most of us the Point and Shoot cameras are the best. You just aim your camera, push the little button and you're done. The Digital Single Reflex cameras on the other hand are way too much for most of us. They've got more fine adjustments than I can wrap my head around and what I end up with when I use one isn't as good as my point and shoot photos.

There is a middle ground however. Most cameras have program modes that can significantly increase what you get from your camera. On your camera there will usually be a wheel or sometimes you have to access a menu. These are called Program Modes and you'll see things like a graphic of a head. This is Portrait Mode and it will recognize the presence of faces and focus on them enhancing skin tones. Another option is Macro Mode and has a picture of a flower. This is used when you want to take close up photos that require sharp focus. You'll probably want to use a tri-pod in macro mode to get the best picture.

Next, there's Night Scene mode which will usually have a picture of a star. This mode boosts what's called the ISO to about 800 which is equivalent to ASA for non-digital photography. With night scene the aperture opens up and the shutter speed is made fairly fast to get the sharpest photo possible

Another mode is called Sunset and will often have a picture of the top half of the Sun. This mode uses filters and closes the aperture to create a wider range of field. Finally there's Fast-Action mode which will have a picture of a runner or kids and pets. This mode speeds up the shutter speed and adjusts the aperture to keep that fast moving object you're trying capture in focus. So there you have it, try Getting with the Program next time you take some pictures.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc