Auto – This is essentially point and shoot mode. The camera makes every decision for you. If this is the only exposure mode you plan using you bought the wrong kind of camera and you will be missing the best that your Nikon D90 has to offer

Auto without flash – This is as the name implies. All the settings are automatically calculated by the D90. The flash is disabled. You would use this mode anywhere flash might annoy a subject. Places like concerts and church are two examples.

Portrait – Portrait mode is for taking sharp pictures of people while the background is intentionally slightly out of focus. This flash will automatically pop up if it’s needed.

Landscape – Landscape mode will take sharply focused and vibrant pictures. The image will appear flat, meaning the entire picture will be the same focus regardless of the objects distance.

Macro (Close-up) – This mode is is for close-up pictures less then foot away. Subjects like flowers, bugs and jewelry.

Action (Sports) – This mode is for freezing action shots. The camera will focus continuosly on a moving subject. Additionally while holding the shutter half way down you can either focus point to the left or right of center. To accomplish this press the multi selector left or right accordingly.

Night Portrait – This is an interesting mode that for best results should be used with a tripod. In this mode the flash will fire and illuminate the subject. The shutter however will remain open for a long period of time allowing for the background to expose properly. An example of this would be taking a picture of someone at night with a cityscape in the background.

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