MANUAL MODE PHOTOGRAPHY

“There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.” Ernst Haas

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Get more creative with Manual Mode

A photographer takes full creative control over every aspect of the photo and makes creative choices in the image creation process. Aperture, shutter speed and ISO are the base. If you don’t control these then you will be unable to create the best possible image. From bright sun light to low light in the gym using MANUAL mode will get you the best chance to create your masterpiece.

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The Exposure Triangle

Shooting in Manual Mode means controlling three fundamental settings in photography:

  1. ISO
  2. Aperture
  3. Shutter Speed

Together they are collectively known as “The Exposure Triangle”.

How do you use this with Manual Mode…follow these steps

Step #1 – How much light is on the subject?

Do I have:

  • Full daylight
  • A gloomy interior
  • A heavily shaded area between buildings
  • And so on…

Step #2 – I ask myself “What is my priority?”

It all comes down to what I’m shooting – prioritizing shutter speed or aperture to whatever I think will make my subject look its best.

  • Am I shooting landscapes and want a wide depth of field? (select a small aperture like f/16).
  • Am I shooting portraits and so want a shallow depth of field? (aperture again, this time a wide setting like f/2.8).
  • Perhaps I am shooting sports or action, and want pin-sharp images of fast-moving subjects? (shutter speed this time – choose a fast one to freeze the subject like 1/2000th).

I’ll make my choice of shutter speed or aperture as my top priority. Now I have two points of the exposure triangle set. For the last setting, I adjust the exposure on the light meter scale.

Step #3 – Adjusting the exposure

Now is the time to look at the camera meter.

Use the light meter scale – get the marker near the center or thereabouts with the one remaining dial (in other words if you chose the aperture in step #2, the last one being set here is the shutter speed). On this -2 to +2 scale, where you place the exposure matters a lot! This is the essence of creative exposures. It dictates the mood of the photograph.

Being in the center or “0” position is rarely the right exposure for me.

Light Meter Scale

Exposure-Scale

 Did you know that two of the best ways to fully learn something is to:

  1. Practice it
  2. Explain it or teach it to someone else

By practicing it over and over you are teaching it into your body, almost like muscle memory. You do it so many times you’ll end up with it being automatic like it is for me (and those with years of experience who make it look effortless).

GOAL: You will complete a series of 10 photographs using MANUAL MODE only. Choosing  to underexpose or overexpose your photograph with purpose and artistic motivation.

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