Learn Shooting Manual!! The Easy Way
Shooting with Auto Mode is easy, you compose your image, half-press to focus and SHOOT. And, you can do better with other functions.
Before I learned about my camera, I mostly used “AUTO” features, it was easy and simple because I didn’t know my camera was capable of so much more.
You’ve invested in a good camera so you should learn how to use all of its settings!
Shooting in manual mode can be a great way to take your photography to the next level. While it can seem intimidating at first, learning to shoot in manual mode gives you full control over your camera settings, allowing you to create more artistic and creative images.
To start learning how to shoot in manual, first, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the three key camera settings – aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Once you understand the role of each of these settings, you can begin experimenting with different combinations to achieve the desired result.
As with all things in photography, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to try new things and take lots of photos as you learn. With time and experience, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of shooting in manual mode.
Do you want to understand Manual mode like a pro?
I will explain everything you need to know about shooting in a Manual Mode the easy way.
*I’ll also share with you a few helpful camera settings cheat sheets
*I don’t want to make it complicated if you are new to this.
*What is Manual mode
*How to use it for amazing results
*Why Manual mode might or not be a good idea.
*If you’re ready to become a Manual mode master, let’s get started!
What is the Manual mode:
Manual mode gives you complete control over your camera settings. Once your camera is turned to Manual, you can adjust different settings. You can make your photos appear as dark or light as you want.
Most importantly, shooting in Manual lets you adjust the three key exposure: ISO-APERTURE-SHUTTER SPEED
*Now let’s explore these three settings in more detail:
First, Turn that dial to “M”
Make the bold move to switch the camera dial from “Auto” to “Manual.”
Shooting in a Manual Mode takes a basic understanding of the exposure triangle, depth of field, and your light meter. Yes, there’s learning here, you will waste a lot of photos along the way and practice is the way to learn.
Manual mode is the best for many situations. It will help you step up your photography game and capture sharp, well-exposed photos.
Sometimes you can switch to a different mode instead, such as Aperture, Shutter or Program Mode. Try them all and see the difference between your photos.
Simply put, ISO controls your camera’s sensitivity to light.
Together, the ISO, aperture, and shutter speed determine the overall brightness of your photos (the exposure). It also affects your photos in other ways – by adjusting the sharpness, depth of field, and overall image quality.
By adjusting the ISO, you can increase your camera’s light sensitivity which will, in turn, give you a brighter image.
Say you’re shooting at night and your shots keep turning too dark. If you’re working in Manual mode, you can boost your ISO – and your images will instantly brighten up.
On the flip side, if you’re shooting on a sunny day and you want to reduce your exposure, you can drop the ISO to achieve a darker result.
For that reason, I generally recommend you leave your ISO at its lowest value (100-400) unless you specifically need to raise it (e.g., you’re shooting in low light).
The aperture controls how wide the lens is open.
Aperture Priority (AP) mode lets you control the aperture and ISO while your camera selects the shutter speed. It’s also a good transitional mode if you’re not quite sure about using Manual mode and you want to start experimenting with different settings.
Aperture is referred to as F-stop, you’ll sometimes see this written as “F/” followed by a number( F/2.8). This is the setting you need to master to nail the depth of field you want! A low number aperture (F/1.4 – F/5.6) gives you a shallow depth of field effect.
In simple terms, the lower the number, the more the background of your subject will be out of focus.
If you are shooting a landscape and want the whole scene to be in focus, your subject and the background, you want to use a higher aperture (F/10 – F/22).
That dreamy blurry background of a portrait it’s called bokeh—and by learning how to play with the aperture, you can achieve just that.
*Aperture Priority (AP)
Your camera will display the Aperture Priority as A or Av. With Aperture Priority, your Shutter Speed and ISO will be set automatically. This way, you only control the aperture and focus on the depth of field.
It’s great for some situations where you want to set the depth of field, but you don’t want to spend too much time dealing with shutter speed.
Shutter Priority mode lets you control the shutter speed and ISO. It’s useful when you want to select a particular shutter speed for creative purposes.
It is essentially the exposure time of an image; that is, how long the shutter stays open to allow light to hit the sensor.
The faster the shutter speed, the less light hits the camera sensor and the darker the final image.
The shutter speed also determines image sharpness. A fast shutter speed freezes the action, while a slow shutter speed will produce motion blur.
It pays to use a higher shutter speed to capture sharp images. But there are times when you might want to create motion blur for artistic effect, in which case a slower shutter speed is the way to go.
Ah!! Yes, this one final Manual mode setting worth learning, White Balance.
There are a few different types of modes:
AWB (auto) Daylight. Cloudy, Shade, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash and Custom.
It adjusts the colors by removing unrealistic color casts to make it more natural. This is something you can try on an object to see the difference.
Ask yourself, should I always want to use Manual mode?
Manual mode is the “best” for many situations. It’ll help you step up your photography and capture sharp, well-exposed, well-composed photos.
That said, there are plenty of times when you’ll want to choose a different camera mode instead, such as Aperture, Shutter or the easiest way Program mode. I know that if I don’t want to fiddle around with my camera dials and not miss the perfect shot, I will go the easy way !!
If you want a fast pace, in that case, you’ll want to use a semi-automatic mode instead:
Aperture Priority mode lets you control the aperture and ISO while your camera selects the shutter speed. It’s also a good transitional mode if you’re not quite ready for Manual mode. Just keep practicing.
Program mode lets you control the ISO, and also adjust the exposure via your camera’s setting. It’s a great transitional mode when getting off Auto.