How To Shoot In Manual Mode


Shooting photos in automatic is great but shooting on manual mode is even better as you will have creative and perfect control over your photos. If you’d like to know how to get off auto mode and change to manual mode, this is the best place to be as we will discuss 4 easy steps to shooting photos in manual mode. Below are four easy steps for shooting pictures in manual mode. 

easy steps to shooting photos in manual mode

1. Set the shutter speed

If you want to shoot photos in manual mode, you must always set your shutter speed. This is the speed at which your lens will stay open. The slower your shutter is, the more the light that will penetrate through. You can set your shutter speed slower if you’re taking pictures in the low-lit area. It is important to note that setting your shutter speed to slow can cause blurriness. The slower speed of your camera’s shutter would be great when you have a tripod. 

The faster the shutter speed, the less the light that comes through. If your shutter speed is fast, you can easily capture moving objects. Faster shutter speed is great when you’re taking photos of moving objects such as toddlers or running sports player. Fast shutter speed does not cause blurred images. Before you set your shutter speed, there are some factors that you need to consider

  • The focal length of your lens. Ensure you set it double the length.
  • If you’re holding the camera while shooting, ensure the shutter speed is fast to reduce the chances of blurred photos.
  • Is the subject moving? If your subject is moving, you need to set your shutter speed faster.
  • Are you shooting in dark place? You need to set your shutter speed a bit slower

Check the manual and identify which button you need to press so as to change your shutter settings.

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2. Adjust the aperture

The aperture determines the depth of your field. It also determines how clear and blurry the background will be in the photo that you’re taking. If your aperture is wide, your F stop number will be smaller. Wide aperture means small F-stop numbers. This means that lens is wide open and more light will pop in through the lens. This would be good if you’re in a low lit area.

When you’re setting the aperture, it is important to ensure that your subjects are on the same plane. Line your subjects up in one straight line. If you want to take clear photos, you need to narrow the aperture. This will increase the F stop numbers. Check the manual and identify the button that allows you to change the aperture. 

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3. Move the ISO

If you have selected a great shutter speed and set your aperture, you need to adjust your ISO as well. Most photographers are scared of moving the dial higher than 100. They fear that the image may turn out grainy. This is not always correct. The ISO is your helper to get the exposure correct. As a matter of fact, your picture will turn out grainy if you haven’t exposed it correctly. The ISO will help you expose the picture and get better results. The light meter will help you select correct ISO.

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4. Watch the light meter

The light meter will help you determine the correct ISO and much more. When you look into your camera’s viewfinder, you can see the light meter at the bottom of the camera. If you want to get the correct exposure, you have to read the light meter. It is not a guessing game. 

Aim the focal point directly at the subject, press the shutter halfway down and you will note the light meter is moving, if it lines up at the center, the exposure is good. If it lines on the right or left side, this means it is overexposed and underexposed respectively. 

  • What if it is under-exposed? 

If the meter is far from the left, you need to crank up the ISO. You can confirm from the camera’s manual about the location of the ISO button or dial. Move the ISO dial or button up until the light meter approaches the middle. 

  • What if it is over-exposed?

If your photo is overexposed, you need to adjust your shutter speed faster so that less light is coming in.

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The above tips will serve as a clear guide if you want to take photos in manual mode. Manual mode is great if you follow the above guidelines.  

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