Skip to main content

Photography 101

Lesson 18 of 55

Auto Mode and Flash-Off Mode

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

Photography 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

18. Auto Mode and Flash-Off Mode


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Introduction Duration:03:17
2 The Camera is Simply a Tool Duration:06:24
3 How Does a Camera Work? Duration:12:07
5 Exposure Triangle Duration:13:53
6 What is a Stop of Light Duration:07:06
11 How To Measure or Meter Light Duration:06:41
17 Starting with Automated Modes Duration:02:19
18 Auto Mode and Flash-Off Mode Duration:09:33
20 Landscape Mode on the Beach Duration:08:18
21 Sports or Action Mode Duration:12:09
24 In-Camera Processing Duration:06:01
25 A Glimpse into RAW Processing Duration:12:55
27 3 Primary Types of Autofocus Duration:03:42
29 Single Shot with Action Shots Duration:02:06
30 AI Servo with Action Shots Duration:06:14
34 What Makes a Great Photograph? Duration:05:07
35 How to Capture Candid Moments Duration:07:08
37 5 Basic Compositional Theories Duration:11:17
38 The Power of Cropping Duration:10:22
39 Color Schemes Duration:04:43
40 Diving into the Narrative Duration:12:38
43 Understanding Megapixels Duration:09:15
44 Crop vs. Full Frame Cameras Duration:06:01
46 Prime vs. Zoom Lens Duration:06:57
48 Dynamic Range and RAW vs. JPEG Duration:09:22
49 5 Tips on Memory Cards Duration:07:06
50 10 Tips on Buying Gear Duration:11:35
51 Conclusion Duration:03:43
52 The Good Karma Jar Duration:01:41

Lesson Info

Auto Mode and Flash-Off Mode

We're going to jump in right from the top, going to start with automated modes or what we commonly refer to as green modes. Now automated mode you're basically telling the camera that you want to handle every single thing, okay, from the exposure from the aperture, the artistic side, you're so everything is going to be handled by the camera, automated modes basically, they're great as learning tools when you first start out, but the thing is that while the cameras are smart and intelligent, they're not really intelligent enough. I'm going to show you exactly, I mean, because we have a fairly complex scene here now to help me out. We have our wonderful couple here, this is keith and christine, they're gonna help us out for all of these portraiture scenes, and we're going to start out basically by shooting a shot. Well, just kind of the standard walk up shot, so why don't you guys come out in the sun and again, this is the first thing I'm gonna train you guys not to do is don't do the st...

andard walk up shot where you basically don't think of anything around you, from the lighting to the composition to the posing and everything we have, fifty million cameras are fifty meter lenses on both of our cameras, what I'm gonna do is just go ahead and, uh and shoot a shot right here. Okay, now, if you notice the flash popped up and the first shot, it looks like a fire in the second shot it didn't. The automated mode that we're using right now is the fully green mode that controls flashes. Well, generally, we also have a no flash automated mo to what is the flash trying to do in this scene? Will basically the cameras seeing a scene that's very kind of off lip. Okay, we have this side light coming in from the sun, and what the cameras trying to do is use the flash on the camera as a fill light to fill in these hard shadows that we have on our couple space. Now, we're going to tell you is that with the flash on modes don't use it. The reason why is that? We typically want to use flash when we're getting into more advanced flash when we're using hot shoe flash, we have control over the direction and really much more control over the type of flash that we're getting that's when we want to use flash, these onboard flashes are never going to give you that great of a light, so really you're better off sticking the camera in a non flash automated mode and using the lighting tips were going to be showing you to get the right shot rather than using onboard flat I'm more flash on these cameras is never really gonna look awesome. Here's, what I'm gonna do is we have this. We're shooting under this pier for several reasons. One it's a great backdrop. And basically, we have kind of an unlimited amount of shade and we have very harsh sunlight right now. It's approaching noon we get really hard, direct light and so this pierre allows us to have that shade wherever we need it. But it also gives us a beautiful background it's a background that basically repeats it looks really nice and portrait because it has lines, and it has all these things that we wanted, a background, what kind of simple repeating backgrounds that could offer lines and so forth that really draw attention to our couple. What we need to do, though, is place him in a position and get the right light on them. What we're gonna do it just use the natural shadow of these pillars. So go, guys, go ahead and step back into that shade right there. That's perfect and let's actually get you guys into oppose now. So why don't we dio let's do like our standard v up first. Okay, so the vfw if you guys are interested in learning, posing techniques on this kind of stuff it's kind of beyond the scope of this dvd. But check out the natural light couples, portraiture, dvd that's basically all about lighting and posing couples. We also have posing guides available online as well. Let's, go ahead and get into b up and you guys actually seems like you already know what that is. So so that's perfect. Keith, your hand goes around right under waste. Actually. Let's, leave your front hand in the pocket. There you go. Perfect. And then I'm gonna scoot over to this side a little bit. So we kind of get you a little bit more under the side a bit more right there. Perfect. Right there. And then basically, what we'll do is have you guys lean the heads into each other? Just a bit perfect. And olivia, why don't you grab the silver? And what will do with the silver is going to come onto this side. And I want you to reflect up into some light up into them. So let me go ahead and see where this lights going to be. So. What we don't want to do what we're trying to avoid here is we don't want to get direct sunlight on a silver it's gonna look really powerful and you can see that if I bring this up guys don't look at this close your eyes for a second is going to be really bright you can see how strong that is if we want to go for that strong main light and that's fine, but what we're going for is a very soft lifestyle look so instead what I want to do is bring this right underneath and phil now see we're catching direct light and so we get that up let look this is where we need to either go from the side or we need to use a white because the silver's going too strong so let's see if we can get a nice light there we go so we're just gonna add this nice little fill light right there we're covering shade on lee so see, this isn't picking up any direct light okay, so let's go ahead and bring that in get a beautiful little phil there and what we're gonna do is let's see christine, why don't you lean the head on a keith a little bit there ugo and kind of bring the face forward a tiny bit key that wants you to kind of look down towards her there you go right there okay so let me show you what we have here now for composition wise well what I want to do is basically use this background kind of as a leading line that comes up into them and they were going to shoot with them on the right third of the frame I'm gonna crop off kind of the top of keith's head and it looked totally fine in the image we're kind of mohr about her in this shot but here's the thing I'm already noticing that I don't really like about this automated mode is that I don't have any control of my focus and I can see the focus is landing right on keith instead of basically over christine so I can see them the shot also we're getting the flash up mode so let's go ahead and turn off we're gonna go in the flash off automated mode but you can look at this we're getting a much much better shot already okay okay so that's kind of one of limitations as faras the automatic modes goes in this but we can see still that we're getting a much better photograph than when we started out okay wait wait wait wait take a look at the difference here this's really crazy and you know keep in mind we're still shooting and completely automated modes and the only thing that pie has done it's set up the couple in a better position for lighting he added his own fill light and then posed the couple and crafted his composition. Now immediately, the shot is so much better than that terrible walk up shot right at the beginning, so remember, you can get fantastic results from your camera without even touching the camera settings. All you really need to do is set up your scene now with an icon again. The great thing is that I do have a little bit control I'm gonna go with flash off mode again in this and I do have a little control over my f area, okay? So I'm just gonna go ahead and bring that up and focus mode. I have it on auto, but I'm going to choose a single point a f and that way I can still focus where she is, but yet if I take this shot, we're gonna end up with a much, much better and sharper image let's take a look at the settings, though, because that's, where really these cameras are both going with very safe options and this is the problem is that when you go with automated modes, the cameras are intelligent, yes, but they are going always err on the safe side, we're in auto mode, we'd be better off shooting in port removed, but even important, we still wouldn't get the kind of shot that we want so both cameras did an okay job with it, but the thing is that I want artistic control. So this is where I'm gonna flip into manual and we're gonna go ahead and dial in our settings based on what I am envisioning for this seen now what I want here is I want the background toe fall off into a nice blur quickly because it's a relatively busy background if we're not blurring it out. It's a great pattern background, but if we keep it all in focus, well, there's too much there. So what I'm gonna do is I'm going to go ahead and adjust first, my aperture to let's go about, you can go toe to have two point eight ish. I'm going to go ahead and leave it on f, too, and then, uh, let's, just go ahead and bring up, live you so we can get a focus, our sorry, uh, exposure. So right now, let's, go ahead and leave it bright. I'm gonna bring up the history am, too, so we can see this live. You hissed a gram. And I'm at one six forty if I went up to a thousand and we're still blowing out quite a bit of our highlights so I need to bring it up to about one two thousand of a second right here the shadows air pushed against the left edge we've retained our highlights and this is about right this is where we want to be we're going to leave it s a one hundred as well so we're f two one two thousand second is a one hundred I'm gonna turn off my live you now and then we're going to go for our final shot and now that I can actually move my f point I'm going to move it right over christine there we g o way okay, so in comparing these two shots I have to say both of them are actually really great photos so once again the selection and aperture between these two shots it really comes down to your own creative vision now in the shot where the apertures higher we have a little more depth of field, right? So for this particular photo I kind of really do favorite pies decision in opening up the aperture the reason is that the pillars in the background well they're just a little strong as a compositional element and I feel like they detract a bit from the couple when they're more in focus now when they're a bit more out of focus I mean, you can still tell what the background is, but it doesn't necessarily compete with our subject nearly as much anymore. But you know what, it's, a subjective decision and it's one that you're going to have to decide on your own. And at least when you're shooting in manual, you certainly can make those decisions all on your own. All right, so with the same settings, I'm gonna go ahead and shoot a couple other shots. I want to get some different poses, some variation. My having leaning up against these poles were going to the same thing, the same techniques, so you guys can stick around and watch it as we go.

Class Description

Learn how to create, edit, and share stunning digital images.

To a photography beginner, the gleaming complexity of a new camera seems to demand an arsenal of expensive equipment and a long legacy of training. This is a common misconception – beautiful, professional-grade shots are within reach to any with a mastery of the basic mechanics of photography.

Join Pye Jirsa of SLR Lounge for a thorough, practical exploration of the fundamentals. Photography 101 teaches you how to use standard, inexpensive equipment to:

  • Explore the inner mechanical workings of your camera
  • Learn how to recognize good light and modify it to your needs
  • Make the elements of manual mode - aperture, shutter speed and ISO - work for you
Take advantage of the flexibility and control offered by your camera’s manual mode by shadowing Pye on 5 days of shooting at 8 different locations. You’ll learn how to capture both crisp action shots of moving subjects and classic portraiture with posed models. You’ll also gain a sense of what makes a great photograph, and how to mix professional staging with candid, humanizing moments.

You will walk away from Photography 101 with SLR Lounge's Pye Jirsa as a better photographer, and you’ll have the creative and practical skills to create, edit, and share stunning digital images; all with no more gear than you started with. 



I watched this class "live" and was simply amazed at the amount of information Pye covered. Yes, he talks a little fast, and since I was streaming the class I couldn't stop it to review anything, but this guy really knows his stuff and explains it very well so I absorbed quite a bit. Bye is enthusiastic, clearly enjoys his craft, and delivers excellent information to students in a light heartedI and fun way. I think some reviewers are a bit harsh about his humor. Lighten up, people! His examples and the additional information his co-host provides are very worthwhile and you can tell the course was well thought out. I plan to buy the class to help me get back into DSLR photography.


I really enjoyed this class. I am not a beginner, but there were still things I learned here that I found helpful. I really enjoy learning from Pye. He is quick, gets to the point and doesn't spend a lot of time going over and over the same point. There is a wide variety of things that he covers, so really something for everyone. I would recommend purchasing this class if you want to understand your camera better, improve your technique and start taking better photos.

Joy Bobrink

I have tried to learn photography myself via the internet / YouTube but always felt like I was missing something in my foundation. Sure I can zero out my meter...but why? How do I know the settings I've selected are the correct ones? I've been circling this drain for a year until this course. WOW! Pye has SO MUCH information in every video. He doesn't just stand in a classroom and talk, he's out in the field actually putting his settings into his camera, talking about why and why not and then shooting. He's hands on the entire course. You don't just hear him, you see exactly what he's doing! I'm a visual / listening learner and this is my eureka moment! Thank you Pye! Watching the Exposure video and how you changed the settings yet maintained the exact same exposure was mind blowing. Awesome course! I would recommend this to anyone new to photography or anyone that feels like they don't have all the info.