Photography Tutorials and Articles

Photography Tip – Manual exposure

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Making a good case for why you want to use manual exposure

What is Manual Exposure Shooting?

Manual exposure shooting requires extra skills and once you master these skills you won’t want to go back to any other exposure mode setting.
When you shoot in manual exposure mode 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 mode. When shooting in manual exposure you will refer to the camera’s built in light meter to determine correct exposures 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, providing the light stays the same. It is peace of mind which allows you to focus more on the composition.

Camera-background

Why shoot in Manual Exposure?

Almost all pro photographers use manual exposure and the main reason is: they have full control over their camera. Cameras, while technologically sophisticated, do not have a brain and it is very easy for the brightness/darkness of background or foreground to influence the camera to capture incorrect exposures.

Manual Shooting
In Manual Shooting you target the exposure for the main subject

Can you give some examples of advantages for manual exposure shooting?

There are many times when shooting in manual exposure mode can save the day. One common situation for choosing manual exposure is when using flash or studio lights, because the built-in light meter will be challenged to accurately expose for studio light.
Another good example is taking photos of a beach or snowy field. The light reflecting off water, sand or snow can often result in under-exposed photos.

Manual Shooting
Set the exposure in Manual shooting and start looking for your subject and have peace of mind that the foreground or background won't change the exposure.

Is it possible to use Auto ISO in Manual Exposure?

Absolutely! As a matter of fact I know many pro sport photographers who use Auto ISO in Manual Exposure.

Auto Iso

Fundamental Photography Tips
As the light changed, Camera reduced the ISO and you can shoot with faster shutter speed to freeze the action. Shooting in Manual mode allows you to change the camera setting on fly

How important is Manual Exposure?

If you are an artist or a creative photographer, you need to learn and practice Manual Exposure. For example have you ever tried to capture a silhouette picture using aperture priority or shutter priority? It can be frustrating when your camera always adjusts the exposure and makes it almost impossible to get a dense solid black in silhouette. But with manual exposure mode you set the exposure for the sky and you are good to go! If you are ready to master the techniques behind shooting in manual exposure mode, check our Field Photography Manual Shooting Class starts March 11th. Class sizes are limited for your maximum learning experience.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

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