Trying Manual Camera

I finally did it guys. I’ve been taking some shots on my DSLR in manual mode. Cue the applause!Β 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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34 thoughts on “Trying Manual Camera

  1. When I bought my DSLR I quickly ditched auto for manual mode. I didn’t always know what I was doing but now I get the basic gist and by experimenting you learn which settings work best for each photo, time of day etc. hope you find a photography class, that would be so fun!


    1. Thanks Chanelle! I’ve slowly been taking more photos in manual mode, but sometimes I just switch back to Auto haha! It’s easier, but I do want to learn more about manual πŸ™‚


  2. Nice work! I want to master night photographer and get those great blurred movement shots. I need to test out that reference you found. Super helpful! Keep it up πŸ™‚


  3. I’m attempting to learn all this camera stuff right now too. That graphic from picmonkey is super helpful, I bookmarked it on my computer as a reference so thanks for posting it!


  4. I’ve gone over these manual setting a million times and it’s still always difficult to remember. ISO is the one I’ve gotten the furthest with so far. I haven’t seen infographics for remembering until now, so thanks!


    1. I don’t think I’ll ever fully remember what each of the settings are for haha! These infographics are definitely handy though! I’m tempted to print this one off and keeping it on hand πŸ™‚


  5. That cheat sheet looks helpful, need to try this out myself. Will be coming back to this post when I get the chance to get my camera out πŸ™‚


  6. I haven’t done manual photography in years! I took a black and white film photography class in college and it was so fun! I think digital probably would have been better but I was also taking an English class and it was during that exact time so that didn’t work out.


  7. I’ve been shooting on manual since December and I already got the hang of it. I’m itching to practice blurred and freeze motions so I can get better at taking roller shots of my cars lmao.
    I played with it some more today and used my son as the subject. Some of the shots came out really good but I had to change the settings quickly because the lighting kept changing so often from sunny to cloudy lmao. Only in the Pacific Northwest haha.


    1. I’m so impressed Rossy! I still keep defaulting back to auto cause it’s easier! I really want to keep practising on manual. I should!
      Honestly, the weather does that down here too. We always joke about getting four seasons in the course of one day haha!


  8. I am totally camera fan girlling for you right now! I REALLY want to get a DSLR, and this just made me want one even more! I LOVE all the options and different settings you get with the DSLR and I am so happy you are playing with manual! SO fun! ❀


      1. Thanks beauty! I hope so! I borrow other peoples cameras and I love playing with them, but I need my own! Definitely some day πŸ™‚ ❀


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