I don’t let the photo snobs talk down to me – Creative Auto is a fun photography tool


I have been studying photography seriously for the last year.  I read just about anything I can get my hands on to become a better photographer. As I read blogs, watch YouTube videos, read books, and just about anything else I can get my hands on, I have noticed a trend from some people.  There are some photo enthusiasts who come across as condescending photo snobs.

Let me give you an example. At one point, I wanted to find out from others how they keep their camera set for walking around. As I read the responses on various photography forums, I noticed that several photographers were arrogant about keeping their camera in manual mode.  I imagine the thought of keeping ones camera in “P” mode or in “A” mode would be absurd for these photographers.

I get their values. They are intermediate to advanced skill-level photographers who have the fundamentals of photography nailed and can intuitively set their camera for the situation they are shooting. In addition, they want complete control over the exposure of their photos.

I get the reasons. I do not get the condescension. Is it more important to shoot in manual or to get the shot?  I think the latter is more important. I will not let the photography snobs talk down to me. I have taken some great photos using specific scenes presets in my camera.

Check out several photos I took in the “Close-up” creative mode.

It is more important to get the shot. In fact, when I am in walk-around mode, say for street photography, and anticipate needing to take photos quickly, I set my camera up like this:

  • ISO – Auto
  • “P” mode
  • .JPG file
  • Scene – Auto
  • White balance – Auto
  • Evaluative Metering
  • Continuous shooting

I want to be ready to get the shot. And, the DSLRs manufactured today take some good photos in “P” and creative auto modes. The downside is the files are compressed and there is not a lot of room for editing and post-processing in, for example, Adobe Lightroom.  The up-side is that the camera assigns general values to color saturation, tones, and white balance to help expose your photos.  It helps think for you.

I will say this also – Creative Auto does not fix subjects that are not compelling, unappealing composition, or inappropriate light. If I use those modes, I still need to think through those fundamentals of photography.

In photography, I use all of the tools in my creative toolbox. Granted, I spend most of my time using the manual modes, but if I need to pull the Creative Auto tools out of the situation needs it!

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