Your guide to digital camera scene modes
July 3, 2008
Summer's here, and you're probably going to want to hit the beach. Here's a scene mode that is bound to come in handy: Beach Mode!
When a scene contains a large portion of extremely white and/or highly reflective material, like snow or beach sand, your camera’s light meter is likely to be fooled into setting the exposure for the bright parts and not the subject. As a result, the main subject, which occupies a smaller part of the scene, is underexposed. That’s a shame, because beach and snow scenes can be some of the most dramatic you’ll ever shoot.
If you select the Beach Mode (or Snow Mode) your camera will know that it must compensate for the bright parts and deliver properly exposed details from the darker areas. Instead of trying to turn the entire scene into 18% gray (that’s what the built-in meter is supposed to do for average lighting situations) it cranks the exposure up and sometimes reduces the contrast. The result is a perfect balance and a nicely exposed photo that puts the subject—and background—in the right light.
Want to learn more about scene modes? Visit the Canonical List of Digital Camera Scene Settings.