Banakas | Photography

That’s It, I’m Switching Back to AUTO!

I give up! I don’t care about manual, or even priority modes. Auto is where it’s at!

I’m only kidding, but I was in a situation the other day where auto mode really helped.

There Was No Auto Mode

Gypsy River Valley FarmAs I’ve written before, twenty-two years ago, I picked up my first SLR camera, fully non-automatic. I don’t think “Auto” was even a setting that existed on that camera. I had to learn the “exposure triangle” through trial and error using film. Luckily for me it was on my school’s dime and not mine. After giving up photography when I got out of school, due to funding issues, I finally picked it back up only a few years ago and the one thing that I told myself was that I wasn’t going to go into “Auto” mode on the new DSLR.

So, over the past few years I have been shooting exclusively in Aperture Priority mode and it wasn’t until just a few months ago, that I found myself only shooting in manual. Sure, Aperture Priority Mode is like Manual, with training wheels, but I felt that I was in more control than in full Auto. But, that all changed at the beginning of this past week.

Get Out of Auto Mode

I have read countless articles about how you should “get out of auto mode”. I strongly agree with that statement, getting out of auto mode will definitely give you more creative control over your shots but I have also found there is a time and a place for Auto mode.

Gypsy River Valley FarmEarlier this week, I helped chaperone a field trip that my son was on. We visited the Gypsy River Valley Ranch and all the children got to see, touch, sit-on, and comb the Gypsy Vanner horses. During the trip, I took my camera to try and capture some of the moments for the teacher to share with the class later on. As with kids between the ages of 3-5, things were quick and constantly changing. Shooting in manual was a challenge for me and the speed at which we were moving around. The children’s attention spans were about as long as it took me to get the right settings in the camera, before they moved on to something else.

I was starting to get a little frustrated and my creativity was shot. It was all I could do to get some “snapshots” of the kids taking care of the horses. Finally, I decided to break the rules and turn that dial to AUTO. I’m glad I did. I finally was able to get the shots that I wanted and capture those special moments that kids are known for.

When All Else Fails

When all else fails, don’t be afraid to change over to AUTO. Your camera was expensive for a reason. It’s pretty smart and does a good job of getting the shots that you’re looking for without all the thinking and contemplating that goes on when you are in full control.

Gypsy River Valley Farm

Gypsy River Valley Farm

Gypsy River Valley Farm

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