Shooting in Manual – Part 1 – Back to the Basics

Photography is one of those weird arts, like music, that requires both creative talent and the ability to understand some math (ugh!). Don’t be discouraged just yet, because if this dyslexic can figure out how to shoot in manual, I know you can do it, too.

We ought to learn to shoot in manual and control the camera’s settings, because we can discern things like the difference between backlit scenes, a run away toddler, and a race car but the camera (or Program Mode) cannot.

Since our goal is a creatively composed photograph with appropriate exposure, there are three primary settings we must master. We’ll cover additional settings at another time. What follows is a quick start guide to demystify the complex settings of shooting in manual.

Let’s think of exposure like this triangle.

The big three are: shutter, aperture and ISO.

Good exposure is generally defined as maintaining details in both the highlight and …

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