Can exposure modes help?
Here’s how the so-called creative modes on your Nikon help you prioritise…
The camera sets both shutter speed and aperture for optimal exposure, using conservative rules for safe handholding shutter speeds. Nikon recommends its use when “there is little time to adjust camera settings”, but you can speed up the time available by simply thinking harder at the time of shooting.
You choose the shutter speed, the camera sets the aperture. This is useful when shutter speed is your top priority and you’re concentrating principally on that. As with all exposure modes except for manual, you can override the automated exposure if necessary by using exposure compensation to make the result brighter (plus values) or darker (minus values). If using exposure compensation in shutter-priority mode, the camera keeps the shutter speed constant and varies the aperture to let in more or less light.
You choose the aperture, the camera responds by altering the shutter speed. Useful when depth of field is your top priority. A straw poll suggests that most professionals use either this or manual mode (below). Again, override with the exposure compensation button if needed.
You set both shutter speed and aperture, keeping a close eye on the exposure level indicator (that little arrow with numbers either side). It demands more thought, and so, unless you’re thoroughly au fait with this way of doing things, more time.
Not a mode per se, but an additional control that allows you to set an upper limit for ISO that you’re happy with. Again, this can and should vary according to what’s in the frame and how large the picture will be displayed.