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Photo Classes – Manual Mode Lesson Four
Posted By Connie E On August 5, 2012 @ 1:00 pm In Photo Tips | 6 Comments
How to make the jump from automatic shooting to manual shooting. Putting together all you have learned about ISO, aperture, and shutter mode “Manual” mode.
There are three ways to control the amount of light recorded by your camera. By adjusting each of these three variables, your camera can make sure that every picture you take produces an image with the proper amount of light. You will need to adjust the “sensitivity” to light that reaches the camera’s sensor By keeping the “shutter” open a longer or shorter amount of time. By opening or closing down the “aperture” wider or narrower
Cameras can automatically control these three variables. In automatic mode, your camera will decide in a split second exactly how wide to open it’s aperture, how long to keep it open, and how sensitive the sensor needs to be to properly record the image.
The problem is that changing each of these variables will drastically alter the final look of your picture! Opening the aperture more causes the background of the picture to go out of focus. Keeping the shutter open longer makes everything in the image blurry. Adjusting the sensitivity of the sensor affects the overall quality of the image by adding ugly “noise”.
In automatic mode, you don’t have any control over which choices are made! That’s why you just end up with a bunch of generic-looking snapshots. With a little bit of practice in manual mode, you can create something much more interesting. Nice blurry backgrounds are made by using a wide aperture opening on the camera. In automatic mode, your camera would try to close the aperture to a smaller size because of the bright light in the scene. You would get a totally different look – just a “snapshot” look.
As a photographer, you have two jobs:
With automatic mode, your camera handles the first task for you. The problem is handling the first task means it makes all the decisions for you which prevents you from handling the second task.
Taking creative pictures is almost impossible in automatic. Let’s go through each way you can control the amount of light coming into your camera. Each method has side effects which change the final look of your image.
Taking a picture in manual mode:
When you press your shutter button down halfway and focus on the image you want to capture, while looking at this scale, you can see how over or under exposed your image is based on my current settings. There will either be a moving vertical cursor up and down the scale or little boxes that light up as you move up and down the scale, depending on the brand of camera you have. Raising or lowering your shutter speed will bring your exposure value to center, where you typically want it. If you was to set your shutter first, then raising or lowering your aperture would have the same effect moving the scale above (overexposed) or below (underexposed) proper exposure (which is 0, or right in the middle). There is a rotating dial, different from the command dial which you use to select the mode you are shooting in, that is used to adjust this. You should have already found this if you’ve played around with aperture (Av) on shutter speed (TV) priority mode. If not, consult your manual.
7. Now –Take a picture! Does this sound complicated? It really isn’t. You just need to practice! When you are done practicing, practice some more! Pick up your camera right now and try shooting in manual! Remember, the light meter on your camera is your friend. It will help you get the exposure correct. Once you are used to setting the shutter speed and aperture size quickly and can create pictures that look good, move on to the last section of this guide. As you practice shooting in manual mode, you will start to see a pattern. You are setting either the aperture and then adjusting the shutter speed to match e setting the shutter speed and then adjusting the aperture size to match.
I’m going to tell you a secrect? A lot of pro photographers don’t shoot in manual mode! Instead they shoot in “Aperture Priority mode” or “Shutter Priority mode.” Both modes will save you a lot of time when you are shooting. Now that you have mastered manual, give them both a try. Most photographers use aperture priority mode. Shutter priority mode is more common for wildlife or sports photography where freezing the action is vital.
REMEMBER–Camera’s don’t take pictures!!!! You do!
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