Nikon D7000 Child Mode

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Photographing children can be tough. Those little stinkers are fast and if you’ve ever tried to photograph a two-year-old, you know the challenge of getting him or her to sit still. Child mode tries to solve this problem by blending the Sports and Portrait modes (Figures 3.16 and 3.17). Understanding that children are seldom still, the camera will try to use a slightly faster shutter speed to freeze any movement. The picture control feature has also been optimized to render bright, vivid colors that one normally associates with pictures of children. It’s a great mode to use for those kids on the go, or to capture a very brief moment that you don’t want to miss.

The Child mode is best used for snapshots of children on the go.
Figure 3.16 The Child mode is best used for snapshots of children on the go.
Child mode tries to use a fast shutter speed, as well as make colors more bright and vivid. I didn’t have a lot of time to capture this shot before she was going to pull off her mustache. I’m so glad that I was able to get the shot of my good friend John and his granddaughter.
Figure 3.17 Child mode tries to use a fast shutter speed, as well as make colors more bright and vivid. I didn’t have a lot of time to capture this shot before she was going to pull off her mustache. I’m so glad that I was able to get the shot of my good friend John and his granddaughter.

Dusk/Dawn

There are some great photo opportunities that take place both before the sun rises and after it sets. The only problem is that the typical camera settings don’t truly capture the vibrancy of the colors. The Dusk/Dawn camera setting is optimized for low-light photography and helps boost colors and eliminate noise from longer exposures (Figure 3.18).

The Dusk/Dawn scene mode maintains the muted colors of early morning and evening. The flash and AF-assist illuminator turn off in this mode. A tripod is recommended for this mode due to potentially longer shutter speeds.
Figure 3.18 The Dusk/Dawn scene mode maintains the muted colors of early morning and evening. The flash and AF-assist illuminator turn off in this mode. A tripod is recommended for this mode due to potentially longer shutter speeds.

Night Portrait

Use this setting to help expose the background of your subject. For instance, if I’m taking a night portrait of a friend in front of Christmas lights, then I would use this setting. It tells your camera to use a slower than normal shutter speed so that the background has more time to be properly exposed (Figure 3.19).

The Night Portrait mode helps balance the subject and the background in low light. A tripod is recommended for low-light situations.
Figure 3.19 The Night Portrait mode helps balance the subject and the background in low light. A tripod is recommended for low-light situations.

Beach/Snow

Shooting in a bright environment like the beach or a ski resort can have a bad effect on your images. The problem is that beaches and snow often reflect a lot of light and can fool the camera’s light meter into underexposing. This means that the snow would come out looking darker than it should. To solve this problem, you can use the Beach/Snow scene mode (Figure 3.20), which will overexpose slightly, giving you much more accurate tones.

The Beach/Snow scene mode helps you capture vacations by the water or in winter, when the brightness of the sand or snow could otherwise trick the camera into underexposing. The built-in flash and AF-assist illuminator are turned off in this mode.
Figure 3.20 The Beach/Snow scene mode helps you capture vacations by the water or in winter, when the brightness of the sand or snow could otherwise trick the camera into underexposing. The built-in flash and AF-assist illuminator are turned off in this mode.

Party/Indoor

This mode is very much like the Night Portrait mode except it is optimized for indoor use (Figure 3.21). The flash is automatically set to Auto-redeye and will use the redeye reduction lamp to help eliminate the redeye problem that often occurs when using the flash indoors.

The Party/Indoor scene mode is great for birthday parties or weddings when you want to capture a special moment.
Figure 3.21 The Party/Indoor scene mode is great for birthday parties or weddings when you want to capture a special moment.

Night Landscape

A tripod or stable shooting surface is definitely recommended for Night Landscape mode (Figure 3.22). By using low ISOs, longer shutter speeds, and noise reduction, you can capture great cityscapes with more accurate colors. The flash and focus-assist functions are turned off for this mode, so focusing might be a little difficult. If so, try moving your focus point to a different location.

The Night Landscape scene mode helps reduce noise and unnatural colors. This mode is great for capturing a city skyline at night. A tripod is recommended so that the lights don’t get blurred with a slow shutter speed.
Figure 3.22 The Night Landscape scene mode helps reduce noise and unnatural colors. This mode is great for capturing a city skyline at night. A tripod is recommended so that the lights don’t get blurred with a slow shutter speed.

 

Low Key

Low-key photos are typically meant to have an overall dark look. Much like the beach/snow scenario in reverse, your camera’s light meter will usually try to add some exposure when shooting a low-key scene to make everything brighter. If you want to keep things on the dark side, use Low Key mode (Figure 3.23), which will keep the flash turned off and underexpose things just a little bit.

The Low Key scene mode is best for times when you want to create a dark image or subdued image. It will turn off the flash and is best used with a tripod.
Figure 3.23 The Low Key scene mode is best for times when you want to create a dark image or subdued image. It will turn off the flash and is best used with a tripod.

High Key

If Low Key mode means dark, then it’s probably pretty easy to guess what High Key is for (Figure 3.24). Images that are bright throughout can present a different sort of challenge, with the bright environment tending to fool the camera into making an image that is darker than desired. Using the High Key setting forces the camera to overexpose a little and really lighten up those bright objects in your image.

The High Key scene mode creates very light and bright images; as with the Low Key mode the flash is turned off.
Figure 3.24 The High Key scene mode creates very light and bright images; as with the Low Key mode the flash is turned off.

Silhouette

Using the Silhouette mode (Figure 3.25) does things like adjust the exposure for the brightest area of the scene as well as turn off the D-Lighting feature. This is necessary, since D-Lighting tries to boost exposure in shadow areas, which is the opposite effect you want when trying to get a nice silhouette.

The Silhouette scene mode creates a silhouette of the subject against brighter backgrounds. A tripod is recommended for this mode.
Figure 3.25 The Silhouette scene mode creates a silhouette of the subject against brighter backgrounds. A tripod is recommended for this mode.

Food

Food photography is very popular of late, and Nikon has provided you with a scene mode that is perfect for this type of work (Figure 3.26). When you select this mode, the camera will use large apertures for fairly narrow depth of field, slightly overexposed settings to keep things bright, and a picture control that makes colors slightly more vivid.

The Food scene mode creates vivid colors. A tripod is advised with this mode; you will have use of the flash if needed.
Figure 3.26 The Food scene mode creates vivid colors. A tripod is advised with this mode; you will have use of the flash if needed.

Autumn Colors

If you live in an area that has great fall color (like I do), you will want to give this mode a try (Figure 3.27). The big advantage to this scene mode is that it is optimized for the red and yellow hues that are present in autumn, and it really makes them pop. It also turns off the flash, since the light from a flash can wash out the color in the leaves. Try using this mode when the leaves have turned and the skies are overcast. You will get some amazing color in your images.

The Autumn Colors scene mode creates bright yellows and reds in autumn leaves. A tripod is recommended; flash is unavailable in this mode.
Figure 3.27 The Autumn Colors scene mode creates bright yellows and reds in autumn leaves. A tripod is recommended; flash is unavailable in this mode.

Blossom

This mode is very similar to the Landscape setting but with a few slight adjustments. The color settings for Blossom have been optimized for use outdoors where there are many flowers in full bloom (Figure 3.28).

The Blossom scene mode is best used when photographing a field of flowers. A tripod is recommended to avoid blur, and flash will be unavailable.
Figure 3.28 The Blossom scene mode is best used when photographing a field of flowers. A tripod is recommended to avoid blur, and flash will be unavailable.

Candlelight

Sometimes it’s pretty easy to know when to use a particular mode. This mode is similar to the Flash Off mode, but it is tweaked for the color of candlelight and will give you much more pleasing results (Figure 3.29). If you are photographing people in candlelight, try using a tripod and have them hold fairly still to reduce image blur.

The Candlelight scene mode helps in low-light conditions. The built-in flash is disabled, and a tripod is recommended.
Figure 3.29 The Candlelight scene mode helps in low-light conditions. The built-in flash is disabled, and a tripod is recommended.

Pet Portrait

This mode is similar to the Portrait mode in that it uses larger apertures and faster shutter speeds (Figure 3.30). The difference is that Portrait mode is optimized for human skin, with adjustments to the hues and color values. Pets don’t normally have any skin showing, so the sharpness and hues are adjusted accordingly.

The Pet Portrait scene mode works well when you’re photographing a pet and don’t want to scare it off with the AF-assist iIluminator.
Figure 3.30 The Pet Portrait scene mode works well when you’re photographing a pet and don’t want to scare it off with the AF-assist iIluminator.