Shutter vs Aperture priority

I would like to see a more experienced take on these modes. Normally I shoot manual mode the main issue is often when I shoot my landscape shots the nature does not play nice and I get extreme dynamic range.

On one particular day it was so extreme I tried to manually bracket for exposure blending later and it was a total catastrophe. I am sure the shots are salvageable but I have been avoiding editing them so far.

On my last outing things were much better with some overcast. I chose to shoot at iso 100 in shutter priority and let the camera adjust the Aperture based off a ± 1 EV bracket.

My thought process was not hdr stacking but instead just in case I needed to exposure blend. Since there is a lot of moving water throu the falls and Creek I wanted to keep the water texture consistent and due to longer exposure s of around 1/6 - 1/15 of a second the Aperture stays nice and tight hovering around f8 throughout the bracket.

I am not sure I made the right choice but the photographs seem solid at first glance.

What is your guy’s take on these modes and when to use them?

With the moving water wanting longer shutter, I would try a Neutral Density filter. That gives you longer shutter while attenuating the daylight.

I do agree here but I currently only have a 6 stop ND. In the first case the shutter speeds were way too long for what I wanted unless I was up to around 800+ iso and really dark shadows would have been really noisy as I use a T7i.

In the more recent case where I used shutter priority I am not sure. I just got a new lens a 17-55mm f2.8 so the more open Aperture would help the iso but not sure how badly it would effect the landscape DOF. Still need to experiment more with this lens.

But I agree ND filters are great.

A graduated neutral density might be useful. In principle, some post-processing could compensate for that filter, so we could get an HDRI image of a high-contrast scene from a single exposure. Hmmm… an experiment emerges… where’s my box of filters?

Aperture or shutter speed priority? It depends on your, umm, priority. I generally care most about depth-of-field so I set the aperture. When I care most about shutter speed, that’s what I set.

In this case you should use the same aperture for all shots because dof, vignetting, sharpness… changes when changing aperture

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When I’m shooting when there is plenty of light, I like Aperture priority + the exposure compensation dial on my Fuji x-t20. Since I’m generally not shooting things that would require a longer shutter speed and the camera is handheld, the major artistic decisions are aperture and composition. Aperatire priority makes it easy to adjust and still hand hold. I use the exposure compensation to avoid clipping on the in camera histogram, as I’m usually exposing to preserve highlights.

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For most of my subjects, at the time-worn min handhold shutter speed of 1/30sec I’d rather start incrementing ISO than to come off f8 and lose depth-of-field.

BTW, that min handhold shutter speed has changed with the Z6, now about 1/10sec with the internal stabilization. Was not a consideration in buying the camera, but it surely has made a significant difference in my low-light shooting.


All this information is very helpful thank you. I find it very difficult to shoot water well at least preservation of highlights without destroying shadows. As I understand the histogram is a JPEG histogram not raw perhaps it would be best to use the rgb histogram instead of luminance?

Correct, but I am not aware of any camera that shows a raw histogram in the EVF or live view mode (e.g. before the exposure is made).

If you don’t have a circular polarizer for shooting water, I’d highly suggest you get one!

Using Magic Lantern on a Canon would give you a raw histogram and other indicators in live view.


I may have read somewhere (probably here on but can’t recall the discussion!) that one can use the individual R/G/B histograms that some cameras have (like my Fuji XT2) and check if the Green histogram is well behaved. If it clips the G histogram calculated on the jpg image, then you may have a clipping problem also on the raw file (pr something like that… I hope I’m remembering it right!).