Camera Settings: Aperture Priority Mode (AV or A)

Using AV or A mode to set aperture

When you turn your camera dial to AV or A you can choose your required aperture setting. You set the aperture and the camera reads the light in the scene and calculates a shutter speed that will correctly expose the image. Whichever aperture you choose, the camera makes adjustments in shutter speed based on the prevailing light levels. This means that if you took a series of shots, one after the other, at different apertures and under the same light conditions, the images are exposed in the same way (i.e. have the same level of brightness).

Why use Aperture Priority mode?

Turning your camera dial to AV or A enables you to set different apertures, which changes the depth of field of your photographs. For example, you might be taking portrait photos and want the background to appear blurred (a shallow depth of field – low ‘F’ aperture number ), or taking photographs of landscapes, where you want the foreground, middle-ground and background to appear sharp (a large depth of field – high ‘F’ aperture number).

How to use AV mode

1) Turn your camera dial to AV or A mode.

2) Adjust the aperture – F number (check your camera manual to find out how to change aperture, which varies slightly from model to model).

3) Press the shutter half way to focus/meter the light.

4) Take the shot.