Photography Tutorials and Articles

Manual Exposure

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Manual Exposure puts you in the driver’s seat

It’s all about getting perfect shots!

Photo Tip Friday October 10, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I want to start off by saying I am thankful for having such good audiences. Without your enthusiastic desire to learn and grow I couldn’t have made it this far.

For this week’s photo tip I want to discuss why you should take your photography experience to the next level by learning to shoot in manual exposure. In my photography workshops I always ask my students to gradually start shooting manual exposure and not to jump headlong into it. In this article I am going to explain the reason for emphasizing “gradually”!

In Manual Exposure you have more freedom for composition

In Manual Exposure you have more freedom for composition

Let’s take a look at some highlights of the different shooting modes:

Aperture priority A/AV

In this mode you set the aperture and your camera selects the shutter speed to make the correct exposure. It is very important to understand the metering system your camera uses to achieve the correct exposure; for example, shooting conditions where it shines and also where it sometimes fails.

When shooting Manual Exposure, You can select the depth of field by adjusting the Aperture.

When shooting Manual Exposure, You can select the depth of field by adjusting the Aperture.

Shutter priority S/TV

With this setting you select the shutter speed and the camera sets your aperture or f-stop. Same as with Aperture priority you should carefully select the metering mode best suited to your subject and conditions.

It was a windy day and while shooting Manual Exposure, I set my shutter speed higher to avoid the shake of the leaf.

It was a windy day and while shooting Manual Exposure, I set my shutter speed higher to avoid the shake of the leaf.

Manual Exposure

When you shoot in Manual Exposure you control both shutter speed and aperture. At first it seems very complicated but with practice you will get faster and more comfortable shooting in Manual. When you shoot in Manual exposure you refer to the camera’s built in Light meter to determine correct exposure and adjust the shutter speed and aperture as necessary. Once you’ve determined the correct settings you can walk around the scene and capture your pictures without being worried about the exposure provided the light stays the same. It is peace of mind which allows you to focus more on the composition.

When shooting in Manual Exposure you can set the exposure and take photos till the light changes.

When shooting in Manual Exposure you can set the exposure and take photos till the light changes.

Learning how to shoot in manual mode takes patience and practice before it becomes second nature; I strongly encourage you to experiment with shooting in manual with non-critical images where learning and experimentation are the goal.  Have fun with it and before long I’m sure you will be like many photographers who prefer to always shoot in manual exposure mode!

Do you want to learn more about how to shoot in Manual Exposure?

On November 22, 2014, I am leading a workshop about shooting in Manual Exposure. It is going to be very interesting and a great learning experience. This fully hands-on workshop is for everyone who wants to take better pictures and unleash the true power of their camera.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

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