4 Basic Camera Settings You Need To Know To Shoot In Manual Mode

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When shooting in Manual Mode you have full control of your shutter speed, ISO, and aperture, among an array of other settings that can further help you to fine-tune your images.  Below we will go over 4 Basic Things you need to know to shoot in Manual Mode. By Manually controlling the aperture you can better achieve those beautiful portraits with the blurred bokeh backgrounds, something the camera doesn’t know to do automatically. By Manually controlling the Shutter Speed you can get crystal quality amazing shots of fast-moving subjects like cars, sports, and more.  The camera can’t tell the difference between a moving subject or a stationary subject. The automatic mode is limited in its ability to capture imagery in all circumstances. By learning how to operate your camera in manual mode, you’ll be able to capture shots beyond the limited capabilities of automatic modes.

Here are 4 Basic Things You Need To Know When Beginning To Shoot In Manual Mode.

1. ISO ISO is a numerical value on a camera that controls the light sensitivity that’s coming into the camera.  On a bright sunny day, you will want to have smaller ISO while in dim setting you will want a higher ISO setting to allow more light into the cameras, just remember that the higher the ISO, the more noise an image will have.Experiment with different lighting conditions and you’ll be able to find your ideal ISO setting for each condition.Just remember that making your ISO too high will increase the amount of noise in your final image.

2. Aperture Aperture is an opening in the lens that affects your exposure.  It is also the feature that controls the depth of field.

The lower the number, or f-stop, the larger the opening of the lens will be which results in less depth of field.  The lower the number also creates more of a blurry, or bokeh, background.

The higher the number, or f-stop, the sharper your background will be.  This is ideal for capturing all the details in the entire image.  High apertures are commonly used in landscape photography as it helps to capture all the tiny details.

3. Shutter Speed Shutter speed is the time that the shutter stays open to allow light to enter and hit the sensor. If you are after blurred shots that illustrate an object’s motion, like a racing car or cyclist, then set your shutter to a slower speed.  This will keep the shutter open longer allowing for longer exposure time which will capture motion. A faster shutter speed is perfect for capturing the action with no motion blurs.

4. White Balance White Balance is a setting that removes unrealistic color casts and provides a more naturally toned image.  Using the wrong white balance can cause color casts in your image that make a daylight image look orange, or a sunset look like noon.  Setting your White Balance to the proper setting will ensure your images are balanced exactly for what you are trying to capture.

When doing photography in Manual Mode your settings will NOT adjust automatically when conditions change.  If your environment or shooting conditions change, you will need to change your camera settings manually to compensate so that your images expose correctly.  By shooting in Manual Mode you will have better control over your settings ensuring that all your “Out of the Camera” image exposures are consistent.   What settings do you struggle with? Let me know in the comments below. Trevor Snook
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