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How to Shoot Pictures in SCN Mode on Your Canon EOS 6D

When you shoot pictures in SCN mode on your EOS 6D, you choose an option from the Quick Control menu that matches the type of scene you are photographing. In SCN mode, the camera does its best to think like a photographer and choose the proper settings which should result in a good image of the scene you are photographing.

For example, when you’re photographing a head-and-shoulders portrait of a person with a telephoto lens, the ideal choice is Portrait. When you choose this mode, the camera chooses the largest aperture possible for the given lighting conditions, which yields a shallow depth of field, which means your subject is in focus, but the foreground and background are an out-of-focus blur.

Conversely, when you photograph a landscape with a wide-angle lens, you choose Landscape mode. When you choose Landscape mode, the camera chooses the smallest aperture possible for the given light conditions, which gives you an image with a large depth of field; everything is in sharp focus from the foreground to the background. To create images in SCN mode:

  1. Press the Mode Lock button and then select SCN from the Mode Dial.

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  2. Press the Quick Control button.

    The Quick Control menu for the SCN mode appears and displays the icons for each SCN mode. After you start shooting with the SCN modes, the last-used mode appears on the Quick Menu. When this happens, press Set to see all of the SCN mode icons on the LCD Monitor.

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  3. Use the Multi-controller to select the desired mode.

When you choose a SCN mode, you can change the settings by highlighting an option with the Multi-controller and then pressing set. But this defeats the purpose of a SCN preset. Use the SCN presets to get familiar with the camera. When you’re familiar with all of the controls, then you can branch out and try your hand at some of the Creative Zone modes and choose your own settings.

When you graduate to the Creative Zone modes, you’re bound to come home with some bad shots, but that’s how you learn. Use your camera often. If you’re already familiar with photography, you can graduate from the SCN modes relatively quickly. If you’re new to photography, the SCN modes help you get a feel for the camera.

However, if you do decide to take a walk on the wild side and change some of the settings when using a SCN mode, the first setting you see says Standard setting. This is what Canon calls ambience. The second setting you can change in some of the modes says Default Setting, which gives you natural colors under specific types of lighting.

You have the following picture ambience options from which to choose:

  • Standard: This is the standard option and the colors are not altered digitally by the camera. What you see through the lens is what you get.

  • Vivid: Enhances the colors to give the image some punch. If you decide to deviate from the Standard setting, try Vivid when you’re photographing flowers.

  • Soft: Gives you an image with nice soft muted colors. Try this option when shooting with the Portrait SCN mode.

  • Warm: Warms the colors in the image. Try this option when photographing on an overcast day to warm up the image. You might also try this setting to warm up a less-than-impressive sunset.

  • Intense: Gives you strongly saturated colors. Try this option when photographing architecture and graffiti on the sides of buildings or railroad cars.

  • Cool: Gives colors in the image a bluish tone.

  • Brighter: Makes the image brighter than the actual scene you’re photographing.

  • Darker: Makes the image darker than the actual scene you’re photographing.

  • Monochrome: Converts the image to black and white (grayscale for you purists).

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The other option you can change is the lighting setting. Think of this as white balance. If you take a picture using the Default setting and the whites have a color cast, try changing to one of the following options:

  • Daylight: Use this option if you’re photographing a subject or scene in bright daylight and using one of the Scene modes.

  • Shade: Use this option if you’re photographing a subject or scene in open shade and using one of the Scene modes.

  • Cloudy: Use this option when you’re photographing a subject or scene on a cloudy overcast day and using one of the Scene modes.

  • Tungsten Light: Use this option when you’re photographing a subject or scene in a room illuminated by tungsten light bulbs and using one of the Scene modes.

  • Fluorescent Light: Use this option when you’re photographing a subject or scene in a room illuminated by fluorescent light bulbs and using one of the Scene modes.

  • Sunset: Use this option when you’re photographing a subject or scene in the late afternoon an hour or so before sunset when using one of the Scene modes. Make sure the sun is actually out when you use this option. If the sun isn’t out and it’s close to sunset, switch to Cloudy.

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