4 Tips to shoot in manual mode

Set Your Shutter Speed

Your shutter speed is the speed at which your camera lens will stay open. The slower you set the shutter speed the more light will filter through because the shutter will be open longer. This is great if you are in a low lit area. However, setting your speed too slow, it can create blurriness, especially if your subject is moving. Slower shutter speeds work great if you are working with a tripod.

The faster the shutter speed the less light will come through. Faster shutter speeds will also capture quick objects like they are frozen in time. This is great for fast moving toddlers or trying to capture
running sports players or drips of splashing water. If you will be holding you camera by hand, even the slightest movement can cause some blur. Shooting with a higher shutter speed can stop that from happening.

The speed of the shutter is in terms of a fraction of a second. The smaller the fraction (or the bigger the bottom denominator) the faster the speed.

There are a couple things to really think about before you decide where
you will set your shutter speed.

• What is the focal length of your lens? Make sure to set it at least double the length. (ex: 50mm lens.-shutter speed a t least 1/100), 100mm lens-shutter speed at least
1/200

• Are you shooting hand held? If so you might want to set the shutter a little faster than usual.

• Is your subject moving (even just slightly)? If yes, set your shutter speed faster.

• Are you in a dark place? The shutter speed may have to be set slower.

Check your camera manual to see which dial or button you will use to change your shutter speed.

Once you have selected what you think will be a good shutter speed, now it’s time to think about the aperture.

Adjust The Aperture

Your aperture will determine your depth of field OR how blurry or clear the background will be in the photo. It is also referred to as your f stop. The wider your aperture, the smaller your f stop number will be. The wider your aperture is, the blurrier parts of your photo will be. (EX: wide aperture=f/2.2)

Wide apertures or small f stop numbers mean that the lens is opened up wider and more light will also come in through the lens. This can be particularly helpful if you are in a low lit area.

Be very aware of the placement of your subjects when setting your aperture . If you choose to set the aperture wide, your subjects should be on the same plane (ex: Line them up in one straight
line). Remember that aperture affects the depth of field, so if the subjects are placed several feet behind on another, one is bound to be out of focus.

If you want the entire picture to be clear, set your f stop at a higher number or a narrowerv aperture (ex: f/5.6). This will help to ensure hat more of the picture will be clear. It will also give you more flexibility in posing your subjects farther or closer in the depth of field. (ex: they could be in several rows rather than in one line

Check your camera manual to see which dial or button you will use to change your aperture.

Once you have selected what you think will be a good shutter speed and aperture , now it’s time to think about the ISO.

Move the ISO

Once you think you have selected a good shutter speed and aperture, now it is time to adjust your ISO.

You might be scared to move this dial any higher than 100. I get it, there’s a fear that your image will turn out grainy. Don’t be scared though! Think of your ISO as your “helper” to get your exposure correct. Your picture will turn out much more grainy if it’s not exposed properly and the ISO can help you do this! Keep reading below to see how the light meter will help you pick the correct ISO.

Watch the Light Meter

When you look into the viewfinder of your camera, you will see the light meter at the bottom of your camera

Finding the correct exposure is not a guessing game. That meter will show you when you have great exposure! Aim your focal point directly at your subject (if it is a person, aim for their skin). Push the shutter halfway down and the light meter will start to move. If it lines up in the middle-BINGO!- your exposure is good.

If it’s to the right- it’s overexposed. If it’s to the left- it is underexposed. So what will you do then? Keep reading

What if It’s Underexposed?

If that meter is too far to the left, now is the time to crank up the ISO. (Please see your camera’s manual for where the ISO dial or button is) Keep moving it up until you notice your light meter start to get closer to the middle.

What if it’s Overexposed?

Look through your light meter. If it is too far to the right, your photo is probably overexposed. If that is the case, keep the ISO where it is at. Then adjust your shutter speed faster (or a higher lower
denominator number) to keep too much light for coming through. Or you can narrow up your aperture (higher f stop number)

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