In Photography Tutorials

Creative Mode AV or A Exposed

Learn How to Take Your Camera Off Auto Printable Cards

Creative Mode AV or A Exposed

Finally getting around to transferring files.  I created an entire set of photography cheat cards for the old site that I never got past posting anything after the second card. Cold Wisconsin winters are good for something!  Getting my act together. Let’s see if I can get past card #2 in the coming weeks. Creative mode AV or A Exposed will be the first lesson in a series. There will be a printable card for each lesson.

Take Your Camera Off Auto

At some point after you have had your camera for awhile you will want to experiment with creative modes. Creative modes allow you to control how you would like your photograph to turn out. Instead of the camera guessing for you. Creative mode AV or A exposed – aperture priority is one way for creative expression.

Take your camera off auto! Free printable card.


Just a Quick Note

This posting is a long, in depth post & I don’t expect you to remember everything.  At the end of the post you can save and print the card to have the information at your fingertips.


Also, I don’t know everything about photography.  As a matter of fact, I learn something new everyday. The items the cards cover are items that I struggled with in the beginning or wish someone would have shared with me when I started out. Some of the cards I still have to use; because let’s face it, we don’t use them everyday, week or in some cases in a year.

The cards are nothing fancy and I’m not an expert.  This is what would have helped me. If it helps you, wonderful.  If not, sorry!  Just keep reading and practicing.  Practice and experimenting have made me grow by leaps and bounds.


Taking Your Camera Off Auto

When using auto or program mode, your camera is in control of how your image will turn out. Believe me, your camera doesn’t always get things correct, it can’t read your mind.

You want to take that power into your own hands!  In my humble opinion, it is easier for many to start using a creative mode; instead of the M for manual; or in my case it stood for mystery 🙂

Crawl, Walk, Run

In life, we learn to crawl; then walk and finally, run.  We learn control over our muscle movements and practice over many months.  Learning to control your camera is no different.  You can’t take off running, if you haven’t practiced and went through the proper steps.

This will be the first in the series for learning to take control over your camera.

Please keep in mind that this is a basic overview.  There are plenty of bells and whistles that can increase your chances of capturing terrific images.  The bells and whistles will be introduced in later posts.

Today’s Lesson:

AV (Canon) or A for (Nikon)

AV (Canon) or A for (Nikon)


What Does Aperture Priority Do?

Aperture priority allows you to Control your depth of field. A smaller aperture means more depth of field, a larger aperture means less. A larger aperture also means more background blur.

You chose the aperture or (f-number) and the ISO for the camera.  The camera automatically determines shutter speed for correct exposure.


While in Av mode, the dial next to the shutter button will control the aperture. ISO is controlled by pushing ISO button and dialing it in, and shutter speed is determined by the camera.

Works well in most situations.  Except, fast moving items; like action shots and birds in flight.


What is a Large Aperture?  A Small Aperture?

This might mess you up for a bit.  It is ok.  You are learning and this one threw me for a loop. When talking aperture f/2.8 is a large aperture and f/16 is a small.  Here is why, look at the lens below as examples.



What is a Large Aperture?  A Small Aperture?

At f/2.8 the lens is open more, letting more or a (large amount) of light in. You are using a large aperture, letting all that light in.

f-16 is a small aperture because it is almost a pinhole, letting less or a (small amount) of light in.


Lens Aperture is Usually Specified as an f-Number

Lens Aperture is Usually Specified as an f-Number

Your f-number gives you control over your depth of field.  The higher the f-number the more of your picture is in focus. See examples.


F Stop


Now comes the practice.  You have new tools to get out and try. Problems will come up because you are just learning the ropes.  The first is how to control blurry shots.

Blurry Shots?

For the most part the camera will do a good job.  Do you notice that your shutter is drawn out when taking a picture?  That means if you are hand holding your camera, your image is going to be blurry and show motion.



How Do You Fix It?

You have a two choices at this point.  Increase your ISO number or decrease your f-number. Deciding which of the two you wish to change is totally up to you.  Increasing the ISO may give you a little grainier images.  Decreasing the f-number may not give you the background you wish.  It is part of the creative process of learning.


Practice Makes Perfect

Since this is just a very basic overview, I want you to get out and practice for a few weeks.  Get comfortable. There are a few bells and whistles that I will explain in my next article.  The bells and whistles will help you achieve even better images.

You have to start somewhere, and this is a good place to start…


4×6 Printable Card Below

Just save the card at the very bottom of this page.  It is full sized and you can print it on your printer.  There will be a new card in the series each time I update. Download the card, print it out and laminate it.  Then you can take the card along with you to read and look back on if you get stuck.

You can see what I did with the cards below.

All posts on this site may contain affiliate links.

The Next Card in Set

The next card in the set will be exposure compensation. I am busy transfering the files from my old site.  Look for the update in the next week. Scratch that.

Want the printable cards in the set I have already done?  I’m running so far behind in updates that I may never get to the posts themselves.  You want ’em?  Go here  IF you need a password use in lowercaps—->    thankyounikki

The cards might say buy, but should be free to download.  If you have an issue use the Facebook comment section below to tell me. I see the comments and have to approve them before they hit the site.  I can do a quick fix and connect with you to let you know when the issue is fixed.


1.) I might have two different websites on the cards. My old site might still be on some. Not sure.  Plus, I really don’t care if any do and I’m sure you don’t either 🙂

2.) A few are just Canon user only or Canon 6D only, you will have to read and pick and choose your poison.

3.) If there are two cards to a set, I placed them back to back when I laminated them.

4.) Are not perfect but they are free.  NO Whining.

Here is What I Did With Them

The Photo Cards I Made

Welcome to a dreary Wisconsin afternoon snowshoeing.  I just wanted you see the finished product, so I snapped a quick phone photo on the trail the other day.

For the two card sets, I placed them back to back to make one, two-sided card. I laminated them all to withstand the elements, hole punched a corner and put a large ring to attach to my backpack.


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Creative Mode AV or A Exposed – Aperture Priority Printable Photography Card


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