Manual Mode Overview
Let's talk about what it means to actually shoot in manual mode, because sometimes people just get so freaked out by the idea of turning their camera dial anywhere except auto that they sort of shut down and aren't even sure what that means. So manta mode means you get to be the boss, not the camera hey that's, a total reverse of being in autumn own and if you are anything like me, I'm a total control freak, so I love manual mode for that very reason when you are shooting in manual mode, you are basically juggling three things, so there's, really? Only three things we have to learn today, right can handle three things, so three different variables shutter speed, aperture and s o combine to create an exposure. So in manual mode, you get to control these three setting instead of letting the camera control those three setting. And I turned out the combination that you choose for how these three different variables come together can really dramatically change the look of your photo. Now. T...
he good news is unlike math class there's no right answer here when it comes to combining these things, it's really just about what give you what you're looking for, so we'll talk about that more shortly, but let's cover quickly what kind of camera is required? The answer is pretty much any kind, as long as that offers manual mood, so that doesn't mean that you have to have a big fancy pants dslr. In fact, I have a little point in suit that I love, and I chose it specifically because it does offer manual mode, and sometimes I don't want to love this big guy around. And of course, I love shooting images with my phone, too, but it's not quite as empowering as being able to truly be in manual mode, so between my dslr and pointing suit there's a lot of different options. The main thing to consider if you're looking at buying a camera because you want to be able to shoot in manual mode, convenience is very important, and where the different controls and dials are on the camera makes a difference. For example, there are some point shoot that will actually operate in manual mode, but the controls are buried within file menus, and you have to really dig in to be able to change them, and convenience is really important, so you would want that camera where it is easy to change the eye. So it's, easy to change the shutter speed and it's easy to change the aperture, and we'll see how all that works coming up. S so you might be sitting there wondering ok, but why manual mode? Because we've got so many different modes on the cameras and we have some cameras have scenes like portrait mode or landscape mode and night portrait mode and of course there's amateur priority and shutter priority and all these different shooting mode so why why would we need to go all the way to manual mode? Well, let me show you some examples this is a scene from grand central station that I shot using about six thousand dollars worth of professional photography equipment and what do you think? Is that impressive or what kidding that was a rhetorical yeah, I look pretty not great. And the thing is, when I shot this image I had all that fancy really expensive equipment set to auto mode and that was the result. And the thing is that even when you have a fancy pants camera and you throw a lot of money into equipment if you just put it all in auto you I mean you might as well just bought a cheap disposable camera or something so that's not looking so great, but when I took everything off off motto otto, what can't even talk motto when I took everything auto and switch to manual mode, then I got to be the boss, not the camera and I ended up getting away better image so it could be quite dramatic here's another image from the desert this is the sahara desert kind of possibly once in a lifetime trip and I only had my point and shoot with me because my husband and I were backpacking and we like to travel really light and I didn't want heavy gear, so I had my point too, and it was dark clearly on guy took this frame now of course, in auto mode it is going to be bad and then I thought let's try and night portrait mood so we can see what that's gonna look like because it's night so let's try that and it looked basically the same as auto mode I mean, it was pretty indistinguishable and it just turns out that there's really a limit you know, those scenes that you have on some cameras they are big can be incredible, but there for a very specific type of situation and they only go so far, right? They're basically just a way to communicate to the camera what you're trying to dio and those scenes basically allow you to try to get closer to what you want to do without having to be in manual mode, so if you're in manual mode you could do anything anywhere, anytime pretty much but you are trying to avoid manual mode you khun try these other scenes but they may or may not get you what you're looking for so then I finally switched the camera that little point suit I switched it into manual mode and then I got this image um and I was really excited about that so it's a pretty huge difference the key is that manual mode really offers consistency and control and a lot of people will shoot for example in amateur priority mode or a shutter primary priority mode and of course there's no right or wrong mode right? I mean it's, whatever works for you whatever make you feel the most comfortable whatever empowers you to get the most consistent results that you're looking for but for me personally if I'm shooting in something like one of the priority modes where you choose for example the aperture and you let the camera juggle everything else when I shoot weddings for example I would just get so frustrated because I would think like, okay, I have a good exposure but then like one thing in the scene would change like not the lighting but it could be that someone walks into the frame with like a black shirt or something and somehow they would skew the exposure slightly and it wouldn't be consistent and that was especially noticeable on the dance floor at the reception so the camera is still constantly meet a ring and then trying to balance the exposure for you and I just couldn't handle that as a control freak because I want to be able to set my exposure and know it's going to be the same, and if the scene changes with the lighting in this scene changes then all changed the exposure, but I didn't want the camera just driving essentially so that's what's great about manual mode and that really give you total control and consistency time that makes sense yes, way like that? Okay, so let's talk about it. These are the three variables that you need to wrap your mind around if you're going to jump into manual mode it's really actually quite simple, so don't let it psych you out we're going to start by talking about shutter speed, but the idea here is that these three variables come together to form an exposure and again, like math class there's not a right or wrong answer it's just did you get what you wanted or not so we could be photographing the same scene you and I and we could both be in manual mode and we could choose very different settings here and we could both get perfectly beautiful photos. They might look different as faras like action might be blurred or might be frozen in one or maybe the backgrounds more blurry than in another photo, but the exposure the balance of lights and darks would be acceptable for both