This Article is About
manual mode
mumbo jumbo
aperture settings
shutter speed
face shot
technical aspect
depth of field
daunting task
white balance
A Quick Start Guide To Shooting In Manual Mode
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Any aspiring photographer will eventually want to know how to use manual mode. This can be a daunting task if tackled alone. I'm here to make the transition easier for you! There are four main settings on a digital camera's manual mode: aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and white balance. Each setting causes its own unique effects, which will be discussed, on the resulting image. Focus will not be placed on the technical aspect of these settings, but rather how to use them. If you want the technical mumbo-jumbo, that will be coming in separate articles later.

The first setting, aperture, in its most simplest form controls how much of the picture is in focus. This is called depth of field, DoF. If you have seen aperture settings on a camera, you have likely seen something that looks like this f/2.8 or this f/22. These are called f-stops and are the standard way of measuring aperture. An f-stop of f/2.8 would let much more light in at once than an f-stop of f/22. This seems counter intuitive, but just remember that a smaller f-stop means more light and less DoF and vice versa.

So, as an example, taking a close up face shot of someone would benefit from a smaller f-stop. Focusing on the face would blur the background, bringing more attention to the face. This is due to the shallow DoF brought about by the small f/stop. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you wanted to take a picture of a house and the mountain in the background,with both in focus, a larger f-stop might be needed to increase your DoF.

Next comes shutter speed. This is just literally how long the shutter stays open for the picture. If it is written as a fraction such as 1/250, it is measuring fractions of a second. If it is written as a whole number such as 2, then it is measuring whole seconds. Be sure to watch this setting as it is easy to get confused switching from whole numbers to fractions on the fly, because often the fraction is written as a whole number. 1/250 would become 250 and 1 second would become 1"

Shutter speed will control two things, the amount of light let in and the amount of motion blur present in the picture. Obviously, a longer shutter speed will let more light in, and if the subject is moving, it will cause more motion blur. As an example, on a bright sunny day while taking pictures of a child on a bicycle, a short exposure will be wanted to avoid washing out (when everything gets too bright to see) and getting a clear picture of the child.

Next on the list is ISO. It stands for International Standards Organization, but that is inconsequential as it does not effect the understanding of how ISO works. ISO is measured in numbers, generally starting at 100 and increasing by double every time (100 ,200, 400, etc.). This provides a measure of how sensitive the image sensor on the digital camera is to the light being let in. A lower number is less sensitive but decreases the amount of image noise, the grain you see in pictures (predominantly low light pictures), and a higher number provides more sensitivity at the cost of obtaining more noise.

From a practical standpoint, an ISO of 100 would be ideal for a sunny day, because it provides the lowest sensitivity to light to avoid washing out of the image and the best quality. The opposite is also true; an ISO of 1600 would be more suitable for nighttime photography as it gives the most sensitivity to the minimal light present. Unfortunately it comes at the cost of quality, but as of now the only ways partially around this are photo editing and more expensive equipment.

Lastly is the white balance setting. This is a less understood setting, because it isn't as prevalent and was not present in film cameras. It's used to adjust the color "temperature" that is due to the image sensor's lack of ability to adjust for different "temperatures" of light. You probably didn't understand that, so try this one: White balance attempts to correct the color of pictures taken under different types of light like sunlight, florescent and incandescent light bulbs. If you have ever seen a picture of someone that looks green, this is most likely due to an incorrect white balance setting.

It is fairly straightforward to use the white balance setting. Most cameras have a list of presets for the different types of light. Nine times out of ten, these presets will get you the white balance you need.

To sum things up, there are four major settings in a camera's manual mode: aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and white balance. The best way to see for yourself what each setting does is to set the camera on a tripod, or other stable surface, and leave three settings static while changing one over the range of the setting. Observe the effects on the image and then repeat with the other three settings. You may have to do this for several different subjects to fully see what effects each setting has. The hardest part is finding the balance of all the settings to avoid washing out or a dark image, but with this basic understanding of each setting, you will be well on your way to mastering manual photography.


Street Talk

No comments present
You May Also Like
How to Avoid Five Common Mistakes for Photography Novices (2)
This is the second part of how to avoid five common mistakes for photography novices. This part will talk about the third, fourth and the fifth mistake. Third mistake: Do not look at the column diagram Column diagram is very strange for photography novices, but it is really a useful…
By: April Eyre in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   Jul 22, 2013  
0
  Likes: 0

Fat Loss Eating Made Easy
Eating for fat loss can seem quite complicated and all the information and contradicting ideas can be overwhelming. As complicated as it may seem it really is not. In order for you to be able to understand and implement this into your life it needs to be simple. Most the…
By: Abz in  Health and Fitness  >  Nutrition   Oct 20, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Where Is The Money?
Questions I have asked myself since these power mongers stole trillions of dollars from our world: Where is the money?!? How much do they have to take from you before you baulk? Does this "world crisis" really seem all that mysterious to you? If you put your hand in front…
By: JoshuaM in  News and Society  >  Pure Opinion   Mar 11, 2012  
9
  Likes: 4

Failure is Only An Early Attempt at Success In Forex Trading Even If It’s the Millionth Time Get Over It!
I am yet to come across any Forex trader worth being called a Pro who didn’t have it hard the first few steps along their trading career. Ok people I will be doing the unexpected in this article, I am not going to give you some forex trading psychology mumbo…
By: Abba Anas in  Investing  >  Day Trading   Jan 26, 2013  
5
  Likes: 9

Getting Pregnant After 40 - Things You Need To know
Did you know that idespite popular belief that it is possible for a woman to be getting pregnant after 40 years old? There is a lot of concern in the medical fraternity these days that kind of discourage women from trying to get pregnant if they are over a certain…
By: Malcolm Smith in  Health and Fitness  >  Womens Issues   Jul 27, 2011  
0
  Likes: 3

Anonymous Surfing Software - Proxies And Encrypted Vpns
Being anonymous on the internet is gaining popularity as we move more and more of our daily activities into cyberspace, and ORL (Out of Real Life). While before, the internet was merely a place to waste time looking at cat pictures and doing nerdy stuff to impress nerdy friends, it's…
By: Rodders Gillam in  Computers and Technology   Mar 09, 2012  
0
  Likes: 0

What Can I Eat on A Diet - the Answers
Are you confused by all the information on how to lose weight? One diet claims one thing and another claims something completely different? Maybe you have tried a few different diets before and had some, or just temporary success. I can tell you it's a minefield of marketing nonsense out…
By: Rob Gall in  Health and Fitness   Mar 21, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

What You Are Dreaming Might Matter More Than You Know
There are some people who put no stock at all in what they dream at night. They ignore the imagery that their subconscious mind churns up, missing important messages that is right there for the reading. They dismiss dream therapy as nothing more than new age quackery and mumbo jumbo.…
By: amie nogrady in  Self Improvement   May 30, 2012  
1
  Likes: 1

Photo Taking Tips - A Beginners Guide to Aperture Settings
If you are like the millions of other amateur photographers in the world and own a digital camera you have no doubt noticed the plethora of settings available to you and wondered what the heck do all of these settings do? I want to shed some light on one of…
By: Brad in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   May 01, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Photo(genics) Things Your Camera Never Told You - Part 2
Lesson # 2 – How does the camera control light?The amount of light that actually impacts the film plane or processor is controlled in three different yet totally interconnected ways.• The length of the exposure time (shutter speed)• The size of the pinhole (aperture)• The sensitivity of the emulsion (film…
By: Warren Ashton in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   Nov 13, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

The Triad Of Digital Photography Exposure Basics
Nothing is more vital to your photograph than exposure. Basically, exposure can be defined as the amount of light that enters your camera and imprints an image on your camera sensor. It has a heavy influence on the quality of color. For that matter, it controls whether the image is…
By: Paul7 in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   Feb 13, 2012  
0
  Likes: 0

Types Of Wedding Photography Chester Styles
Brides and grooms to be, have to take numerous decisions when planning their wedding such as choosing the venue, hiring a band, flower arrangements, Wedding Photography Chester, etc. Couples who want to have beautiful memories should take their time to find a reputed Wedding Photography Wirral provider that offers them…
By: Sheraton Veranda in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   Jun 06, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Why Hire A Professional for Wedding Photography Cheshire
A wedding is an extremely important day in one’s life and it is vital that you get your memories captured in the finest way possible on this big day. The wedding photography North West hence needs to be done by a trained professional who will be able to capture the…
By: sylver in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   Jun 05, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Wedding Photography Manchester – What You Should Do
There are many who create a lot of fuss about their wedding photography and why not? After all, the wedding photos keep the memories of the day going and one can relate the stories to their children and grandchildren and use the photos for reference. When a photographer frames the…
By: sylver in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   Jun 05, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Your Fantasy is No Far to Come In Reality
Internet has made the lives easy and comfortable by its huge service and finding own requirement anyone can rely on this technology as it is the best source to find anything in the world. Being a car lover, you can avail the preliminary requirement of your passion by internet only.…
By: Vishal Devsharma in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   May 31, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 1751    Report this Article