Another fellow photographer experience.When I was 16 and drove a car for the first time, my teacher took me to a large parking lot. He asked me to floor it as fast as I possibly could across the parking lot. This was my first time driving! So, I went for it. I felt like I was FLYING! Then, he told me half way across the parking lot to look at the speedometer. I was only going 10 miles per hour (16 kilometers)! The point is, the first time you try anything, it feels intimidating and like you’re out of control.
The first time any of my students use a camera in manual mode, I can see them terrified to try it out. However, shooting in manual mode really isn’t as difficult as it may seem. To understand manual mode, the example below will be helpful.
I took the picture above while at a photography conference in San Francisco. In a situation like this, the bridge isn’t going anywhere, the bay isn’t going anywhere, the chain in front of me wasn’t going anywhere… I had a captive audience to say the least. In situations like this, I always use manual mode. I then set my shutter speed to 1/100. I set my ISO to 100 because I wanted no noise in the picture and I knew if I needed more light, I could just slow down the shutter speed.
After taking the picture with the settings above, I realized that the picture was coming out a bit too dark with 1/100 shutter speed. So, I slowed it down to 1/60 and it looked just how I wanted.
The point is that, eventually, you’ll find yourself wanting to shoot in manual mode for situations where you aren’t rushed to get the shot. If you’re shooting sports, outdoor portraits, or other things, then aperture priority is simpler and faster than shooting in manual mode.
Photo by Digi1080p
- You want motion blur for artistic purposes, such as blurring a flowing stream while keeping everything else sharp and un-blurred. To accomplish this you'd use a slow shutter speed like 1/30th of a second and use a narrow aperture to prevent yourself from overexposing the photograph. Note: This example is a good reason to use the Shutter Priority shooting mode discussed in the previous lesson.
- You want an overexposed and potentially blurred photograph for artistic purposes.
- You're shooting in low light and it's necessary.
- You're shooting in low light and it's not necessary, but you want to keep noise to a minimum. Therefore you set your ISO (film speed equivalent) to a low setting and you reduce your shutter speed to compensate (and let in more light).
Photo by CNET Australia