This Pro Says "Forget Manual Mode" & Use Aperture Priority Instead (VIDEO)

The goal of today's video is to debunk a common myth that it's essential to always shoot in manual mode if you want to capture the best possible images. In fact, you may be surprised by why Aperture Priority is such a powerful choice for achieving consistently accurate exposures without fumbling around to change various other setting,

Instructor Justin Laurens is a professional portrait photographer and retouching expert who admits that, when first starting out, he bought in to the notion that serious photographers always shoot in manual. His approach changed as he gained experience and switched to the semi-automatic AV mode for reasons he explains.

He urges you to "say goodbye to complicated settings and the hassle of constantly adjusting exposure setting between shots." He further insists that the mode he now prefers is a gamechanger for photographers of all skill levels, while making the shooting experience feel effortless. The advice he provides isn't limited to portraiture and is just as effective for whatever types of photos you shoot.

Laurens also reveals a helpful hack to make this camera mode super effective when shooting in difficult conditions like rapidly changing outdoor light, indoor photography, and when low light is the name of the game. It's all about maintaining control over exposure without the "complexities and inconvenience" of using Manual mode.

Choosing the most appropriate Aperture and letting the camera handle other parameters enables you to easily control depth of field and determine how soft or sharp you want a background to appear—thereby directing  viewer's to exactly where you want them to go. As he says, "this mode is not only flexible and versatile, but it also empowers you to focus more on creativity and composition while your camera takes care of the rest."

Laurens recommends shooting at f/1.4 or f/2 if you own a fast lens because this will enable you capture images with a soft, dreamy "cinematic" effect. He also provides solid advice for using aperture priority with slower lenses.

As you'll see, Aperture Priority mode is not without its drawbacks. That's because, in certain tricky situations, the camera's automatic adjustment of the shutter to maintain proper exposure can result in a shutter speed that's way too slow—especially if you're not paying attention. That can lead to unsharp images due to subject or camera movement.

But this is where Laurens' hack comes to the rescue, with an easy and effective modification that allows you to harness the power of Aperture Priority while avoiding all its shortcomings in challenging lighting conditions. After watching the video head over to his instructional YouTube channel for more shooting and editing advice.

And don't miss the tutorial we posted earlier that questions another popular notion, by explaining the essentials of focus bracketing, when you should definitely use it, and when the technique is merely a waste of time.