To be completely honest I very rarely shoot in Manual Mode?
When I talk about Manual Mode I’m talking about the ‘M’ mode on your cameras dial, not anything else like manual focus (that’s another post).
And there’s 3 specific elements in manual mode that you have full control over – Aperture, Shutter and ISO.
So why am I writing about Manual Mode?
Because even if I don’t use it a lot I think it’s important to understand it.
Which doesn’t mean I think you need to shoot in Manual mode, I just think having an understanding of it helps add another piece to the jigsaw puzzle!
Manual mode as it suggests means that it’s up to you and not the camera to decide what the camera’s settings should be.
Daunting isn’t it?
Well not as bad as it seems, if you have an understanding of the 3 elements that make up the exposure triangle, then you know why you would want to change the settings around in the first place.
The 3 settings in question are:
and are called the exposure triangle. If you adjust one then the other two are affected.
But what do they mean?
AV = Aperture value
TV = time value (shutter)
ISO = International Standards Organization, measures sensitivity to light
You may recognise these settings from your camera. Let’s remind ourselves what each one does:
Aperture = how much light gets into the camera through the lens
Shutter = how long the light gets into the camera
ISO = how sensitive the image sensor is to light
So as you can see all 3 deal with capturing light but in different ways. Adjusting them obviously changes the amount or type of light that gets captured, and will determine if the image is exposed correctly or under or over exposed.
So why is this important?
When you use Aperture or Shutter priority modes you choose one of the settings and the other one is chosen by the camera.
The camera may not always be right? – there I said it! ….and…
You are smarter than your camera!
The camera, as clever as it is doesn’t know what it is you want to do with the image. It will just try to give you the ‘correct’ exposure for what it can see.
The camera may guess wrong – so if that happens what do you do?
That’s why it’s important to understand manual mode!
Creativity – Manual mode is the ultimate in creativity for your photography, you have full control…
Panoramas – say you need every shot to have exactly the same exposure like for a panorama, and you don’t want the camera slightly changing it’s mind with each shot!
Manual mode doesn’t have to be a big scary setting on your camera that you know nothing about and never bother with! As with anything with photography – practice is the key, the more you try it out the more you’ll understand.
Play about and give it a try, what can go wrong?
Either you have to delete some images or you switch to a different mode to make sure you have the shot?
There’s no pressure to use manual mode, but I want you understand what it is!
The most important thing is to make images you enjoy making, and love to look at. To me it doesn’t matter which mode you took them in.
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