Trying Manual Camera

I finally did it guys. I’ve been taking some shots on my DSLR in manual mode. Cue the applause! I still really don’t understand it though.

I found this chart helpful though. It’s from PicMonkey.

Your ultimate photography cheat sheet guide. Complete with info about aperture and how it relates to depth of field, shutter speed, ISO, and exposure. All the essentials.

The aspects I control in manual mode are Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO and Exposure. It took me a while to figure out how to fiddle with my camera to control these on my camera. The chart does a great job of explaining the feature of each of these aspects, and from here on out, I’m going to be writing about how I understand it, and how I used it to take some photos. I fiddled a bit with the controls as I took photos and I did notice some subtle (and not so subtle) differences.

Aperture is for changing the depth of field of the lens, for deciding what is in focus. The lower the number, the more shallow the image. So if you’re doing a close up shot, or a portrait shot. An object or a person, you want the focus on them. The higher the number, the deeper the focus. So it’s better for wider shots, or landspace shots.

I like how the chart has the shutter speed diagram. Slower is good for night shots, or more blurry shots, but a tripod is recommended. Faster is better for action shots or freeze motion, and handheld is okay.

Next is ISO, which the diagram explains is for light sensitivity based on film speed. If it’s bright, you use it on low (so you’re letting less light in the shot). If it’s night time, or less bright, then you use it higher (to let more light in). Finally this links in a bit with exposure, which basically you want to keep on 0. Otherwise the shot will be either overexposed or underexposed.

These are the main terminology when it comes to using the manual setting on camera. There may be more out there, but this is enough for me to try wrap my head around. I really do want to take a photography course out there. There’s a few options in my town, some one day ones, some longer ones. As well as online options. I’m going to explore a bit and see what I can find.

Have any of you taken a photography class before? What was it like?


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