Feeling confused with Manual Modes? Read on ....

Now I know last week I said I'd give you some more examples of using shutter priority ...... but as school and Easter holidays loom I thought you just may have some time to play a little :)

Tips on how to get used to manual camera settings

I'm going to give you a tip that may help make it easier for you to understand the different settings you can use to get a little more creative.

Making it easy to come off auto mode

Because Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO may traumatise some people there is a really easy way of getting your head round it.

The easy way is by learning your camera by feeling and watching ....
that may sound a little strange but let me explain further.

Look at the screen on the back of my camera in the images below ...... don't look at the images they are irrelevant. 
Just look at the settings at the bottom of the screen.  

For this exercise I have set the camera on a tripod and sat it in front of the window in my office.  I've simply put my little flower top pens in front of the camera for added interest!  

Image 1 - I've closed the shutters, my ISO is 2000 as it's quite dark inside.  Camera is now on P for programme (or auto) so will work out all the settings for me.
Shutter 1/125th  Aperture F5
It has chosen a shutter speed of 1/125th and an aperture of F5.

Image 2 - I haven't changed the ISO but I've opened the shutters to let in light.
Shutter 1/320th  Aperture F8
Now, with more light, the camera has chosen a faster shutter speed and it has also changed the aperture to a narrower F8.
(don't worry for the moment what the light has done to the flowers, we'll cover that in future Mondays) just keep looking at the settings.

Image 3 - I've now turned the camera on the desk to face into the room.  Again I've left the ISO at 2000.
Shutter 1/80th  Aperture F4
You see it's darker now so the camera has chosen different settings once again.  A slower shutter speed of 1/80th and a wider aperture of F4. allowing more light into the sensor.

Is this making it easier for you to understand?  

Remember it's digital so you can play without ruining film!

Now set up somewhere to take an image. 

  • Put your camera on Auto/P and take a note of the settings it has chosen.
  • Then change to Manual/M and dial in the same settings.  
  • Now fiddle around with each setting to see the difference it makes.  
  • See how creative you can be. :) 

“There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.”  Ernst Haas

Remember you can always email or jot a comment at the bottom of the blog.  I'm happy to help with answers to questions.

Have a great Easter everyone.  See you in 2 weeks.  I'm going to spend some special and cherished time with my grandchildren.  
I'll be using that time to practice with my Olympus PenF so will be facing all the challenges you're having too! :)

Jan x