My 5 Cents Worth on Why Shooting Manual is Vitally Important
What a title to a blog post, eh? I know, I couldn’t come up with anything better…so I went with it. If there is one thing I could hire out, it would be to come up with names/titles to events and blog posts. I stink at that. Oh well, you’ll get the point of the article here if you bear with me, versus judging me on the title!
Let’s dive right in…
A little bit of my opinion on why it’s important to learn to shoot in manual mode. Manual mode has a way of scaring people…scaring people so much that they can’t even set the camera on “M”. They freak out…they never get the right picture, it’s always too dark or way to white. They have no clue where to start with “M”…so they simply resort to automatic which is the wimpy and easy way out…or they will try a not-so-wimpy way of Aperture Priority. Are Aperture priority and Automatic bad…not necessarily…but it sure isn’t teaching you much when it comes to the technical side of shooting.
All to many times someone that simply owns a dSLR Camera thinks by paying that much money for a piece of equipment suddenly makes them a PRO. I’m here to tell you that purchasing expensive equipment does-NOT make you a pro. Just because I could purchase a scalpel knife doesn’t make me a surgeon…right? Please tell me you agree.
Am I saying that shooting in Manual Mode makes you a Pro. Absolutely NOT…but it sure tells me a lot…if you are shooting on Manual Mode and nailing the exposure then you probably have a bit of understanding of what’s happening on the technical side. I won’t get into what makes you a PRO today…that we’ll leave for another day. I do though, think it’s vital that if you are wanting to nail your images, have beautiful images that you don’t have to over edit, you need and should learn to shoot in Manual Mode.
1- Gives you full control. You can have full control of the amount of light being let into the camera. I love being able to have full control of my 1)ISO setting 2) Shutter Speed and 3) Aperture. I know then I’m nailing my images IN CAMERA. So important to catch that IN CAMERA.
2- I don’t have to use flash…Yay!!!! Ok let me tell you I hate flash. Yes you heard me there…but before you judge…I do own two off camera flashes and there are times and uses for them. Do I ever use them? Yes. Only when I HAVE to…or if I’m doing a creative shot where the purpose is to use flash and use it well. But for your snapshots and everyday images…I hate flash. Shooting in Manual Mode I don’t have to use flash!!
3-I can get “blurry” backgrounds! When I first started shooting and I had no clue what I was doing!!!!! I sooooo badly wanted “blurry” backgrounds. Where one thing was in focus and the rest of the image was out of focus. I tried so hard. Like soooo hard…yet what people were telling me and what I was reading really was a foreign language. It wasn’t until I took a hands on workshop that I understood well. Oh but shooting in an automatic mode just won’t cut it, when this is your goal. Once I began to shoot in Manual Mode I was nailing this technique and falling in love with my images even more.
4- I get to choose my focus point. In Manual Mode I can choose what I want my focus to be in the image, not the camera automatically picking up on what “it thinks” is the subject.
5-Let your creativity juices flow. If you are a landscape photographer you can use Manual Mode to get some great night shots by letting your shutter stay open…or catch the flowing stream to have a milky water affect. The possibilities are endless.
Go learn to shoot in Manual Mode. by learning to shoot in this mode you are gaining a greater understanding of how all of the aspects of a good exposure create a beautiful image.
If you are a photographer and you aren’t shooting in manual mode because it scares you.
I challenge you.
Turn it to the M and go for it.
If you are a photographer that can’t explain to someone how to shoot in Manual Mode.
I challenge you. Learn how.
When you teach someone you learn more than you could ever imagine.
If you are a photographer and you can’t explain to someone what ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture are. OR how they correlate to make a great image.
I challenge you.
Go learn and jump in and do it.
You’ll be a better photographer…you’ll be a better photographer…you’ll be a better photographer.