Photo & Video > Fundamentals > Manual Mode Made Simple > The Process Of Shooting In Manual

The Process of Shooting in Manual


Manual Mode Made Simple


Lesson Info

The Process of Shooting in Manual

The process step one you want to visit allies the desired and revolt okay so you want to ask yourself am I trying to shoot a picture that has a shallow depth of field or a deep depth the field do I want that blurred background or do I want lots of range in my focus do I want my action to be frozen? Do we want it to be blurred so I wanted to be super blurred or maybe just a little bit blurred? Those are the things you want to be thinking about so don't worry like who it's my exact centers being just think like big picture okay fast slow, wide open or squinty on dh then depending on how you answer that question then you're going to want to anchor down the most important variable so if you're shooting a portrait and your life I want that yummy blurred background because it's delicious right then when you are in the scene and you're composing everything and choosing your settings, you're going to want to just anchor down your in that case aperture because that's going to give you the blurr...

ed background or the not blurred background right? If you were concerned more with shutter speed because you're you're trying to showcase action then you'd be anchoring down your shutter speed okay? So if we think of those three variables they're like a triangle sometimes I imagine them like a top like a like a three sided teeter totter I couldn't really showcase that very well on the keynote, so this is me doing it with my hands so it's like a three sided teeter totter you want to just anchor down whatever corner is going to give you the effect you want because the other two variables are just for balance they're not going to affect the creative look of the photo there just going toe add light or take away light okay, so anchor down your most important variable then balance the other two variables to give you what you're looking for to make the meter happy or to make you happy if you're like overwriting the meter like I do all the time it's a guide you're going to balance the other two variables and then you're going to take a test shot yea digital right? Take a test shot and then adjust it as necessary and repeat so let's walk through this so one visualize the desired result so here's my backyard on dh in the evening we have this gorgeous light that comes through from behind the fence and you can see it a big sun spots right there in the grass and I'm always like I can't wait when we bought that house I was like, I can't wait till we have a kid someday and I'm going to just photograph the heck out of them in this yummy light by the spence and I finally got to do it so that was really fun on dim my mind of course I'm thinking on it's gonna have like a really yummy blurred background it's going to be gorgeous so I decided that I was going to shoot a portrait with really shallow depth of field get that blurred background so that variable that I wanted to anchor down was my aperture so I decided I was going to shoot it after two because that's really shallow but not quite of the razor thin of one point to which you know when you're shooting kids and they move you could have one eye and focus on one I blurred because an inch further away from your camera so I went with it was to which is still kind of a gamble with kids but I thought well at least I can sit there make him sit there and even if you weren't talking because he's my kid so we went with them too all right so now I'm looking at my scene I've got fto and my meter's going oh my gosh so much light so I'm going teo do the next thing which is balance it out so I thought all right, well next I'm going teo choose an s o that's not crazy because I'm outside there's tons of light I don't need I s o six million but I I still want something like not too low so I just chose four hundred is that the right answer? Who cares there is no right answer I could have chosen two hundred could've chosen eight hundred I just chose something okay so take a stand make a choice so I chose I a four hundred then of course we had to come up with something for the shutter speed and to make the meter happy the shutter speed landed at one eight hundred if I didn't like this if I thought you know what that's stupid I don't need like I could use a slower shutter speed and that would allow me to lower my eyes so I could have done that too you're the boss when you take these pictures but I was like whatever that's good I'm really only caring about this so I took a test time and got doo doo doo doo you know cute um and I thought you know I thought was pretty good but I like my stuff really bright like I would a row on the side of overexposed because it's so ethereal and I just I like it that way so I went back and made an adjustment so here is what we had before the meter was happy that was the image we got and then I thought you know what I want I want this brighter but I didn't want to jack up the I s o it wasn't necessary look at this crazy fast shutter speed I have for a baby that's not walking yet I I don't need this so I decided to flow down my shutter speed which would bring in more light so now the meter was telling me plus something plus one plus two something in there and then I took another picture and got that and it's kind of glowy and the mmm yum and once I was happy with my exposure then I can really relax into the scene and just shoot whatever I want because you know unless the cloud rolls in front of the sun or I'm shooting for hours exposure was going to be you consistent so then I could just start shooting up with him and I could just worry at that point about his expression and my timing and you know my composition and what's going on in the frame so I when I'm shooting this stuff when I'm shooting portrait the room you know at a wedding or something I tend tio walk into the scene and I'm shooting my test shots and giving my settings before I've got my subjects like working it right because I don't want to wear them down I want to have my my my stuff together on guy want to be prepared and know what I'm doing and I want to be set up and then try to elicit those fun expressions and things out of them so that's why in this example here my husband was holding him and I just kind of getting set up and then I was like all right let's see if he can sit and then he could so we were we were blown away by that oh so we got this so that's how it works it's really just those three settings and then leave five steps and with that we have some time left for questions which I'm really pleased about perfect I would look see do you have any you hear in releasing with may um one question that you didn't really talk about a little bit, eh? Bardwell it's wondering about flash yes do you want talk about how flash kind of I know this isn't a flash class that's right completely huge subject and we have plenty on it you can check out but just talk a little bit about how manual interacts with flash great question yeah, we purposely didn't include it in the class today because we have ninety minutes flashes is a whole other thing when you are working with flash I think of it almost as you're taking two pictures in one you're taking one picture of course, but you've got your the influence that the ambient light is having and then you have the influence of the flash and your settings really dramatically can influence the ratio between how much influence the ambient light is having and how much influence the flash is having so the shutter speed is controlling that ambient light and how much of it being recorded because you are allowing the camera to have its eye open for longer which gave the ambient light a chance too to speak up in the final picture and the aperture is controlling the flash input because it's the quantity of light that's coming in because the flash happens in an incident right? So it's a tricky thing for example when I am shooting me think how when I'm shooting at a wedding reception for example, I'm lighting the dance floor and all of that if I want a greater like if I want the flash in the scene but I don't want it to be like dark and just really look like I lit it with just flashed if I want the ambient light to play a role, I'm going to use a slower shutter speed and then I'll be like the up lights in the corner of the room and everything like that if I wantto reduce the impact that the flash is having aiken stop down my aperture and squint out some of that flash and help balance the scene so it's like two pictures in one it's a whole other topic but that's what I'll say about it for right now kelsey flynn is wondering what about setting white bowne lance and getting good color in your photos yes, well that's a great question your white balance is a function of your camera and when you shoot j peg you get the opportunity to sort of bake in a color correction teo your picture so if you are if you're outside shooting in the shade, you typically end up with really blue looking pictures if I was wearing a white t shirt and I stood in the shade under a tree and didn't adjust my camera on my shirt would look like a really pale blue and it's kind of gross so you'd want to change your white balance so that's usually a button somewhere on a dslr it's probably easier than on a pointed shoot so on my dslr actually of a button right here at the top I can just press that and dial in my chosen white balance you may have to dig through your menu your function menu to find it depending on what camera you have but that's something you'd want to set before you take the picture so again test shots and then adjust. So as far as I'm walking through these five steps when I am visualizing it, I'm anchoring it, bouncing it, testing it usually at that point I'm looking at the exposure but I'm also checking to see the color in the scene and if it's you know oh my god that's so blue or so orange or whatever then I can make an adjustment at that point, so you change it and then take another picture. If you're shooting raw, you don't have to worry about white balance because it's not getting baked in that something you would deal with when you process your raw files. So maybe one last one and I'm going to expand from the question? That's asked. They asked, what settings would you suggest for shooting in daylight with natural light for bright tight chute? Obviously very new to photography. So my question is mohr of a, you've shown us the process figured how you're to expose it properly. Do you have any, like, go twos, go to settings where you're like I'm in this kind of situation, I'm going to start this place and then adjust from there, as opposed to just putting in random numbers and a test shot and going, yeah, so when I'm shooting outdoors and natural light, I'm usually I'm almost always shooting it like f two or two point eight or one point, something like that, like pretty wide open. So, you know, if it's a very bright time of the day, then my I s o is going to be, I'll start it like a hundred if I'm out and it's middle of the day really bright. I'll nail down anchor down my desired aperture and then all too you know, the lowest I s so I could get away with I like to think of it so it's more of an enabling variable so it doesn't the so doesn't creatively influence your picture it enables you two you shutter speed and aperture teo, get the look that you want so it's usually a guest like I'll start with one hundred if I'm outside then all see what shutter speed is going to make things balanced if the shutter speed that makes that balance is so slow that I need a tripod, then I'm like no, then I'll go back to my s o and jack it up so that I can increased my shutter speed because I'm not goingto go for a tripod, so there are no specific settings, right? And I think that those are the types of questions that seem really helpful, like when you're new, you're like, oh, what should my settings? B but it's actually not a helpful question. I think a better question is what am I trying to dio and what you know what setting is going to get me there and not focusing on the numbers but focusing on so the shutters being be slow or fast to give me what I'm going for should the amateur be wide or squinty? To give me what I'm looking for and then just go from there. And when you do it a lot and you practice a lot, you get really good at it. So I mean it's, shocking, how quickly you can actually get pretty good at it. So now when I walk into a scene like that, a picture with my son in the backyard, I just walked out there and was like, oh, this is good, and I was pretty close. I mean, I made one adjustment from one, eight hundred to one, four hundred, and I was, like, done, like it's, just, you know, you just get good at guessing, but I I always still make test shots always, and, uh, it's, just practice, and then you'll see, like, you'll just get the hang of it.

Class Description

For consistency and control over your images, nothing beats shooting in manual mode. Join Khara Plicanic for Manual Mode Made Simple and take control of your images.

Learn how to expertly dial in aperture, shutter speed, and ISO; and learn the tricks of the pros for making this part of your workflow, so that you barely even have to think about it. Learning this is a key step towards opening up your camera's potential and taking better photos.  

In this easy-to-follow class, Khara will walk you through the basics of using your camera in manual mode. You’ll learn about the mistakes most beginners make and get a head-start on shifting your dials and controlling your settings. By the end of this class, you’ll feel more confident holding your camera and be inspired to go out and shoot – in manual mode!